Volume 134, Number 4, June 2021
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||26 July 2021|
Weak species in rock-paper-scissors models
1 Departamento de Física e Astronomia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto Rua do Campo Alegre s/n, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
2 Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, Universidade do Porto, CAUP - Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
3 Departamento de Física, Universidade Estadual de Maringá- 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil
Received: 12 April 2021
Accepted: 3 May 2021
In this letter, we investigate the population dynamics in a May-Leonard formulation of the rock-paper-scissors (RPS) game in which one or two species, which we shall refer to as “weak”, have a reduced predation or reproduction probability. We show that in a non-spatial model the stationary solution where all three species coexist is always unstable, while in a spatial stochastic model coexistence is possible for a wide parameter space. We find that a reduced predation probability results in a significantly higher abundance of “weak” species, in models with either one or two “weak” species, as long as the simulation lattices are sufficiently large for coexistence to prevail. On the other hand, we show that a reduced reproduction probability has a smaller impact on the abundance of “weak” species, generally leading to a slight decrease of its population size —the increase of the population size of one of the “weak” species being more than compensated by the reduction of the other, in the two-species case. We further show that the species abundances in models where both predation and reproduction probabilities are simultaneously reduced may be accurately estimated from the results obtained considering only a reduction of either the predation or the reproduction probability.
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