Mutation of albedo and growth response produces oscillations in a spatial Daisyworld

A. J. Wood, G. J. Ackland, T. M. Lenton

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22 Citations (Scopus)


We extended a two-dimensional cellular automaton (CA) Daisyworld to include mutation of optimal growth temperature as well as mutation of albedo. Thus, the organisms (daisies) can adapt to prevailing environmental conditions or evolve to alter their environment. We find the resulting system oscillates with a period of hundreds of daisy generations. Weaker and less regular oscillations exist in previous daisyworld models, but they become much stronger and more regular here with mutation in the growth response. Despite the existence of a particular combination of mean albedo and optimum individual growth temperature which maximises growth, we find that this global state is unstable with respect to mutations which lower absolute growth rate, but increase marginal growth rate. The resulting system oscillates with a period that is found to decrease with increasing death rate, and to increase with increasing heat diffusion and heat capacity. We speculate that the origin of this oscillation is a Hopf bifurcation, previously predicted in a zero-dimensional system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-198
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
Early online date3 Apr 2006
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2006


  • Daisyworld
  • Feedback
  • Gaia
  • Co-evolution

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