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Mutation of albedo and growth response produces oscillations in a spatial Daisyworld

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
DatePublished - Sep 2006
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)188-198
Original languageEnglish


We extended a two-dimensional cellular automaton (CA) Daisyworld to include mutation of optimal growth temperature as well as mutation of albedo. Thus, the organisms (daisies) can adapt to prevailing environmental conditions or evolve to alter their environment. We find the resulting system oscillates with a period of hundreds of daisy generations. Weaker and less regular oscillations exist in previous daisyworld models, but they become much stronger and more regular here with mutation in the growth response. Despite the existence of a particular combination of mean albedo and optimum individual growth temperature which maximises growth, we find that this global state is unstable with respect to mutations which lower absolute growth rate, but increase marginal growth rate. The resulting system oscillates with a period that is found to decrease with increasing death rate, and to increase with increasing heat diffusion and heat capacity. We speculate that the origin of this oscillation is a Hopf bifurcation, previously predicted in a zero-dimensional system.

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