Effects of Ecological Inheritance on Coevolution of Cooperative Behaviors and Physically Niche Constructing Behaviors
Takuro Kojima, Reiji Suzuki, and Takaya Arita
Graduate School of Information Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
Niche construction is a process whereby organisms that modify their own or others’ niches through their ecological activities. Recent studies have revealed that changes in social structures of interactions caused by social niche construction of individuals can affect seriously the evolution of cooperation. However, such a social niche also could be changed indirectly by a modification of their physical environment. Our purpose is to clarify the coevolution of cooperative behavior and physically niche-constructing behavior that modifies social niche indirectly. For this purpose, we constructed an evolutionary model in which each individual has not only a strategy for a spatial Prisoner’s Dilemma but also has traits for a niche-constructing behavior for modifying its physical environment that can limit social interactions between neighboring individuals. By conducting evolutionary experiments, we show that a cyclic coevolution between cooperative behavior and niche-constructing behavior occurred in the situation with no or low degree of ecological inheritance, in which the constructed niche could not be inherited in succeeding generations at all. Conversely, when the degree of ecological inheritance was high, the evolution of cooperation was promoted by the emerged environmental structure constructed by the evolved niche-constructing behavior. We also show that the condition for each scenario to occur depends on the settings of the payoff parameters as well as the degree of ecological inheritance.
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