Matching Items (3)

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Where Two Are Fighting, the Third Wins: Stronger Selection Facilitates Greater Polymorphism in Traits Conferring Competition-Dispersal Tradeoffs

Description

A major conundrum in evolution is that, despite natural selection, polymorphism is still omnipresent in nature: Numerous species exhibit multiple morphs, namely several abundant values of an important trait. Polymorphism

A major conundrum in evolution is that, despite natural selection, polymorphism is still omnipresent in nature: Numerous species exhibit multiple morphs, namely several abundant values of an important trait. Polymorphism is particularly prevalent in asymmetric traits, which are beneficial to their carrier in disruptive competitive interference but at the same time bear disadvantages in other aspects, such as greater mortality or lower fecundity. Here we focus on asymmetric traits in which a better competitor disperses fewer offspring in the absence of competition. We report a general pattern in which polymorphic populations emerge when disruptive selection increases: The stronger the selection, the greater the number of morphs that evolve. This pattern is general and is insensitive to the form of the fitness function. The pattern is somewhat counterintuitive since directional selection is excepted to sharpen the trait distribution and thereby reduce its diversity (but note that similar patterns were suggested in studies that demonstrated increased biodiversity as local selection increases in ecological communities). We explain the underlying mechanism in which stronger selection drives the population towards more competitive values of the trait, which in turn reduces the population density, thereby enabling lesser competitors to stably persist with reduced need to directly compete. Thus, we believe that the pattern is more general and may apply to asymmetric traits more broadly. This robust pattern suggests a comparative, unified explanation to a variety of polymorphic traits in nature.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-02-04

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Potential games and competition in the supply of natural resources

Description

This dissertation discusses the Cournot competition and competitions in the exploitation of common pool resources and its extension to the tragedy of the commons. I address these models by using

This dissertation discusses the Cournot competition and competitions in the exploitation of common pool resources and its extension to the tragedy of the commons. I address these models by using potential games and inquire how these models reflect the real competitions for provisions of environmental resources. The Cournot models are dependent upon how many firms there are so that the resultant Cournot-Nash equilibrium is dependent upon the number of firms in oligopoly. But many studies do not take into account how the resultant Cournot-Nash equilibrium is sensitive to the change of the number of firms. Potential games can find out the outcome when the number of firms changes in addition to providing the "traditional" Cournot-Nash equilibrium when the number of firms is fixed. Hence, I use potential games to fill the gaps that exist in the studies of competitions in oligopoly and common pool resources and extend our knowledge in these topics. In specific, one of the rational conclusions from the Cournot model is that a firm's best policy is to split into separate firms. In real life, we usually witness the other way around; i.e., several firms attempt to merge and enjoy the monopoly profit by restricting the amount of output and raising the price. I aim to solve this conundrum by using potential games. I also clarify, within the Cournot competition model, how regulatory intervention in the management of environmental pollution externalities affects the equilibrium number of polluters. In addition, the tragedy of the commons is the term widely used to describe the overexploitation of open-access common-pool resources. Open-access encourages potential resource users to continue to enter the resource up to the point where rents are exhausted. The resulting level of resource use is higher than is socially optimal, and in extreme cases can lead to the collapse of the resource and the communities that may depend on it. In this paper I use the concept of potential games to evaluate the relation between the cost of resource use and the equilibrium number of resource users in open access regimes. I find that costs of access and costs of production are sufficient to determine the equilibrium number of resource users, and that there is in fact a continuum between Cournot competition and the tragedy of the commons. I note that the various common pool resource management regimes identified in the empirical literature are associated with particular cost structures, and hence that this may be the mechanism that determines the number of resource users accessing the resource.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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The economics of need-based transfers

Description

Need-based transfers (NBTs) are a form of risk-pooling in which binary welfare exchanges

occur to preserve the viable participation of individuals in an economy, e.g. reciprocal gifting

of cattle among East African

Need-based transfers (NBTs) are a form of risk-pooling in which binary welfare exchanges

occur to preserve the viable participation of individuals in an economy, e.g. reciprocal gifting

of cattle among East African herders or food sharing among vampire bats. With the

broad goal of better understanding the mathematics of such binary welfare and risk pooling,

agent-based simulations are conducted to explore socially optimal transfer policies

and sharing network structures, kinetic exchange models that utilize tools from the kinetic

theory of gas dynamics are utilized to characterize the wealth distribution of an NBT economy,

and a variant of repeated prisoner’s dilemma is analyzed to determine whether and

why individuals would participate in such a system of reciprocal altruism.

From agent-based simulation and kinetic exchange models, it is found that regressive

NBT wealth redistribution acts as a cutting stock optimization heuristic that most efficiently

matches deficits to surpluses to improve short-term survival; however, progressive

redistribution leads to a wealth distribution that is more stable in volatile environments and

therefore is optimal for long-term survival. Homogeneous sharing networks with low variance

in degree are found to be ideal for maintaining community viability as the burden and

benefit of NBTs is equally shared. Also, phrasing NBTs as a survivor’s dilemma reveals

parameter regions where the repeated game becomes equivalent to a stag hunt or harmony

game, and thus where cooperation is evolutionarily stable.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018