The Interplay between Behavior and Morphology in the Evolutionary Dynamics of Resource Specialization

Rueffler C, Van Dooren TJM, & Metz JAJ (2006). The Interplay between Behavior and Morphology in the Evolutionary Dynamics of Resource Specialization. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-06-082

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Abstract

We analyze the consequences of diet choice behavior for the evolutionary dynamics of foraging traits by means of a mathematical model. The model is characterized by the following features: Consumers feed on two different substitutable resources that are distributed in a fine grained manner. Consumers decide upon encounter with a resource item whether to attack it or not so as to maximize their energy intake. Simultaneously, evolution occurs in either of five different traits involved in the foraging process. For each trait, a trade-off exists between the consumers ability to forage on the alternative resources. The model predicts that flexible diet choice behavior can guide the direction of evolutionary change and that flexible behavior can mediate coexistence of different consumer types. Such polymorphisms can evolve from a monomorphic population at evolutionary branching points and also at points where a small genetic change in a trait can provoke a sharp instantaneous and non-genetic change in choice behavior. In the case of weak trade-offs, the evolutionary dynamics of a dimorphic consumer population can lead to alternative evolutionarily stable communities. The robustness of these predictions is checked with individual-based simulations and by relaxing the assumption of optimally foraging consumers.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:38
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2016 01:02
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/8018

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