Digital Evolution for Ecology Research: A Review

Emily Dolson, Charles Ofria
2021 Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution  
In digital evolution, populations of computational organisms evolve via the same principles that govern natural selection in nature. These platforms have been used to great effect as a controlled system in which to conduct evolutionary experiments and develop novel evolutionary theory. In addition to their complex evolutionary dynamics, many digital evolution systems also produce rich ecological communities. As a result, digital evolution is also a powerful tool for research on eco-evolutionary
more » ... dynamics. Here, we review the research to date in which digital evolution platforms have been used to address eco-evolutionary (and in some cases purely ecological) questions. This work has spanned a wide range of topics, including competition, facilitation, parasitism, predation, and macroecological scaling laws. We argue for the value of further ecological research in digital evolution systems and present some particularly promising directions for further research.
doi:10.3389/fevo.2021.750779 fatcat:kcudtxl5yra7hpb2cjvz3zhlba