"A struggle for existence inevitably follows from the high rate at which all organic beings tend to increase... It is the doctrine of Malthus applied with manifold force to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms" -- Charles Darwin, Chapter 3, The Origin of SpeciesThis week's paper is more about ecology and sustainability than evolution per se. In recognition of Easter, a holiday that originally honored Oestre (the goddess of spring, who also lent her name to oestrus), and which, at least in the US, retains its association with fecundity in the the egg-laying Easter Bunny, I will discuss "The simple economics of Easter Island: A Ricardo-Malthus model of renewable resource use", written by J.A. Brander and M.S. Taylor and published in 1998 (Am. Econ. Rev. 88:119).
Although this paper focuses on Easter Island, it also discusses many of the same societies in Jared Diamond's 2005 book "Collapse." The book includes much that is not in the paper, but the paper has the advantage of being shorter and of supporting specific points with specific citations, in contrast to the diffuse "Further Reading" approach used in Collapse.