Implications of (co)evolution of agriculture and resource foraging for the maintenance of species diversity and community structure - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2021

Implications of (co)evolution of agriculture and resource foraging for the maintenance of species diversity and community structure

Aurore Picot
Nicolas Loeuille

Abstract

Agriculture is found in numerous taxa such as humans, ants, beetles, fishes and even bacteria. This type of niche construction has evolved independently from hunting, though many species remain primarily predators. When a consumer has a positive effect on its resource, we can expect an allocative cost of agriculture, as the agricultural care diverts time and energy from other activities. Defending the resource against predators may divert time from its consumption (exploitation cost). The cost may also occur on the foraging of alternative resources, for instance if the consumer spends more time nearby the farmed resource and underexploiting resources elsewhere (opportunity cost). We here investigate transitions from predation to agriculture in a simple three-species model of a farmer that consumes two resources and has a positive effect on one. We study the conditions for the (co)evolution of the investment into agriculture and specialization on the two resources, and its consequences on the ecological dynamics of the community. Eco-evolutionary dynamics generate a feedback between the evolution of agriculture and specialization on the helped resource, that can lead to varying selected intensity of agriculture, from generalist strategies with no agriculture, to specialist farmers, with possible coexistence between these two extreme strategies.

Dates and versions

hal-03363685 , version 1 (04-10-2021)

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Aurore Picot, Thibaud Monnin, Nicolas Loeuille. Implications of (co)evolution of agriculture and resource foraging for the maintenance of species diversity and community structure. 2021. ⟨hal-03363685⟩
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