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First published 20 July 2015

Evolutionary change precedes extinction in eco-evolutionary dynamics based on a 3D virtual predator-prey system

Takashi Ito, Marcin L. Pilat, Reiji Suzuki, and Takaya Arita

Abstract (Excerpt)

Recent studies have reported that population dynamics and evolutionary dynamics, occurring at different time scales, can be affected by each other (Fussmann et al., 2007). Accepting not only that ecology affects evolution but also that evolution affects ecology lead to our recognition of the existence of eco-evolutionary (ecogenetic) feedbacks. We have been exploring the interaction between population and evolutionary dynamics using an Artificial Life approach based on a 3D physically simulated environment in the context of the predator-prey and morphology-behavior coevolution.

The first purpose of this study is to demonstrate coevolution between the predator and prey, and between morphology and behavior at the same time, by extending our previous model in which we evolved prey only to clarify the basic dynamics of eco-evolutionary feedbacks (Ito et al., ress). The second purpose is to explore the possibility of the extended model. We focus on the extinction, one of the most serious environmental issues, caused by the predator-prey and morphology-behavior coevolution. Specifically, we identify and elaborate a trait measure that can foresee an extinction of a species.