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The role of mobility for the emergence of diversity in victim–exploiter systems
- CHAIANUNPORN, T., HOVESTADT, T.
- Journal of evolutionary biology 2011 v.24 no.11 pp. 2473-2484
- computer simulation, models, natural selection, predation
- Theoretical and empirical studies indicate that exploitation is a possible driver of exploiter and victim diversification. However, there are many factors which could promote and limit this diversification process. Using a spatially explicit individual‐based model, where an exploiter’s success depends on matching between its own and a victim’s continuous trait, we simulate local communities of victims and exploiters. We investigate how exploiter mobility (searching ability and movement strategies) can influence diversification of victims. We find that if victim traits are under intermediate intensity of stabilizing selection, disruptive selection exerted by exploiters can indeed lead to diversification in victim population and the victim trait distribution can split into two or more groups. Searching ability and movement strategy of exploiters (local vs. global movement) play a role in determining the number of victim trait groups emerging. Moreover, they affect the proportion of infected victims and the formation of spatial patterns in the victim trait distribution. In addition, with a high searching ability, exploiters with global movement drive victims to be more diverse than exploiters with local movement.