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 International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2007)

Effect of space on the coevolutionary dynamics of an individual-based multi-species community

Elise Filotas
Complex systems Lab - University of Montreal

Lael Parrott
Complex systems Lab - University of Montreal

Martin Grant
Physics Department - McGill University

Per Arne Rikvold
Department of Physics - Florida State University

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: May 29, 2007

We investigate the coevolutionary dynamics of a community of multiple interacting species in a spatial environment using an individual-based model. The model is inspired from recent non-spatial models of biological coevolution such as the Tangled Nature model. Each species is represented by a genome in the form of a finite vector of bits and evolves via asexual reproduction. Interactions between species are defined through a fixed matrix of randomly distributed elements. Reproduction and dispersal in this model are species specific processes and depend on how well a species interacts locally with the other species. Our model is characterized by the distribution of the biological community over space. The community is spread on a grid and every individual in a cell interacts with other members located in the same cell. We analyzed the diversity and the stability of the emerging communities and find marked differences with that of the non-spatial version. Space allows poorly fit communities of species to coexist, while they would go extinct otherwise. Moreover, self-organized spatial patterns of community diversity indicate that under certain circumstances the meta-community segregates into regions of high and low diversity over the landscape. Preliminary results also indicate that space allows communities to be more robust to evolutionary changes, making it difficult for new species to become established.

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