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Dynamic evolution in mutualism: combining Game Theory and adaptive networks

Grant number: 14/22894-6
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 12, 2015
Effective date (End): March 11, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Paulo Roberto Guimarães Junior
Grantee:Flávia Maria Darcie Marquitti
Supervisor abroad: Jorge Manuel dos Santos Pacheco
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal  
Associated to the scholarship:11/11346-0 - Interaction parasites and coevolution of mutualisms, BP.DR


Mutualistic interactions are those among individuals of different species in which both have some benefit. Mutualism occurs in different species and natural systems, playing an important role on reproduction, defense, and dispersal of many animals and plants. Most mutualisms are among individuals of many different species, forming a network of mutualistic interactions. However, in these networks, some partners do not cooperate, instead they explore the mutualism without providing any benefit to its partners. Thereby, exploiters can affect the structure and evolutionary dynamics of mutualistic species on a network through their interactions. In this project, I will explore how the dynamics of different strategies (mutualists and exploiters) and the dynamics of interactions (between different strategies) affect the evolution of strategies and the network itself. To reach this goal, I will apply a Game Theory approach into a mathematical model that considers different strategies. I will start the study with unipartite networks, passing to cases of bipartite networks once the model is established. I will look for the analytical and numerical solutions of the models when possible and I will simulate the cases where these analytical solutions are not possible. (AU)