Basins of attraction for species extinction and coexistence in spatial rock-paper-scissors games

Hongjing Shi, Wen-Xu Wang, Rui Yang, Ying-Cheng Lai

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53 Citations (Scopus)


We study the collective dynamics of mobile species under cyclic competition by breaking the symmetry in the initial populations and examining the basins of the two distinct asymptotic states: extinction and coexistence, the latter maintaining biodiversity. We find a rich dependence of dynamical properties on initial conditions. In particular, for high mobility, only extinction basins exist and they are spirally entangled, but a basin of coexistence emerges when the mobility parameter is decreased through a critical value, whose area increases monotonically as the parameter is further decreased. The structure of extinction basins for high mobility can be predicted by a mean-field theory. These results provide a more comprehensive picture for the fundamental issue of species coexistence than previously achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number030901
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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