A Theory of Ratio Selection—Lattice Model for Obligate Mutualism

Author(s): Kei-Ichi Tainaka1, Tsuyoshi Hashimoto

Mutualisms are cooperative interactions between members of different species. We focus on obligate mutualism, where each species cannot survive without the other. From a theoretical aspect, obligate mutualism is similar to the relationship between male and female. Empirical data indicate a sex-ratio selection: male and female have a specific ratio in their population sizes. In the present paper, we apply lattice model to obligate mutualism between two species, and present a theory of “ratio selection” which is a generalization of sex-ratio selection. Computer simulations are carried out by two methods: local and global interactions. In the former, interactions occur between neighbouring cells, while in the latter they occur between any pair of cells. Simulations in both interactions show the so-called Allee effect: both species can survive, when both densities are large in some extent. However, we find a large difference between local and global simulations. In the case of local interaction, restriction for survival is found to be extremely severe compared to global interaction. Both species require a proper ratio for their sustainability. This result leads to the theory of ratio selection: when interaction occurs locally, the ratio of both species is uniquely determined. We discuss that the ratio selection explains not only the evolution of endosymbionts from free-living ancestors but also the evolution from endosymbionts to organelles.


Journal: Open Journal of Ecology
DOI: 10.4236/oje.2016.66030 (PDF)
Paper Id: 66446 (metadata)

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