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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2002 Jul;66(1 Pt 1):011904. Epub 2002 Jul 12.

Time-dependent extinction rate and species abundance in a tangled-nature model of biological evolution.

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Department of Mathematics, Imperial College, 180 Queen's Gate, London SW7 2BZ, United Kingdom.


We present a model of evolutionary ecology consisting of a web of interacting individuals, a tangle-nature model. The reproduction rate of individuals characterized by their genome depends on the composition of the population in genotype space. Ecological features such as the taxonomy and the macroevolutionary mode of the dynamics are emergent properties. The macrodynamics exhibit intermittent two-mode switching with a gradually decreasing extinction rate. The generated ecologies become gradually better adapted as well as more complex in a collective sense. The form of the species abundance curve compares well with observed functional forms. The model's error threshold can be understood in terms of the characteristics of the two dynamical modes of the system.

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