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Conference Papers Year : 2023

Dynamics of niche construction in adaptable populations evolving in diverse environments

Eleni Nisioti

Abstract

In both natural and artificial studies, evolution is often seen as synonymous to natural selection. Individuals evolve under pressures set by environments that are either reset or do not carry over significant changes from previous generations. Thus, niche construction (NC), the reciprocal process to natural selection where individuals incur inheritable changes to their environment, is ignored. Arguably due to this lack of study, the dynamics of NC are today little understood, especially in real-world settings. In this work, we study NC in simulation environments that consist of multiple, diverse niches and populations that evolve their plasticity, evolvability and niche-constructing behaviors. Our empirical analysis reveals many interesting dynamics, with populations experiencing mass extinctions, arms races and oscillations 1. To understand these behaviors, we analyze the interaction between NC and adaptability and the effect of NC on the population's genomic diversity and dispersal, observing that NC diversifies niches. Our study suggests that complexifying the simulation environments studying NC, by considering multiple and diverse niches, is necessary for understanding its dynamics and can lend testable hypotheses to future studies of both natural and artificial systems.
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hal-04356907 , version 1 (11-01-2024)

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Eleni Nisioti, Clément Moulin-Frier. Dynamics of niche construction in adaptable populations evolving in diverse environments. ALIFE 2023 - The 2023 Conference on Artificial Life, Jul 2023, Sapporo, Japan. ⟨10.1162/isal_a_00668⟩. ⟨hal-04356907⟩
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