Gavrilets, S. 1997. ``Coevolutionary chase in exploiter-victim systems with polygenic characters.'' J.Theor.Biol. 186: 527-534


I study the dynamics of a simple quantitative genetic model describing coevolution of two antagonistic species of the victim-exploiter type. In this model, individuals are different with respect to an additive polygenic character that is under direct stabilizing selection and which also determines the strength of within and between species interactions. The model assumes that between species interactions are most intense when the victim's and exploiter's phenotypes match. I show that a cyclic coevolutionary chase is possible under a broad range of conditions. In most cases, the system cycles if the "victim" has a stronger incentive to win and/or a larger genetic variance, and is under stronger stabilizing selection than the "exploiter". The results presented here provide counter-examples to recent studies that 1) question the applicability of "Red Queen" and "arms race" metaphors for continuously varying traits, 2) argue for the existence of crucial differences between major and minor loci dynamics, and 3) attribute a stabilizing role to coevolution.