Evolution of movement behavior and information usage in seasonal environments

Allison Shaw (April 17, 2012)

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Abstract

Migration is a widely used strategy for dealing with seasonal environments, yet little work has been done to understand what ultimate factors drive migration. Here I will present joint work with Iain Couzin, where we have developed a spatially explicit, individual-based model in which we can evolve behavior rules via simulations under a wide range of ecological conditions to answer two questions. First, under what types of ecological conditions can an individual maximize its fitness by migrating (versus being a resident)? Second, what types of information do individuals use to guide their movement? We find that different types of migration can evolve, depending on the ecological conditions and availability of information.