03 April 2012

Nothing in Biology Makes Sense: You are coevolving in another dimension ...

Photo by Thomas Hawk.
This week at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense!, Devin Drown walks us through a cool new theoretical model that shows how hosts and prey species can evade parasites and predators in an ongoing coevolutionary struggle—if they each coevolve in multiple dimensions.

Instead of treating a coevolutionary interaction between two species as the interaction of only two traits, the authors investigate the nature of an interaction among a suite of traits in each species. It’s not hard to think of a host having a fortress of defenses against attack from a parasite with an arsenal loaded with many weapons.

Full disclosure: Scott Nuismer, one of the coauthors on the new model, has collaborated with me and with Devin. For more detail, go read the whole thing. ◼

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