Macronutrient intakes and the lifespan-fecundity trade-off: a geometric framework agent-based model

Authored by Stephen J Simpson, Cameron J Hosking, David Raubenheimer, Michael A Charleston, Alistair M Senior

Date Published: 2019

DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2018.0733

Sponsors: Australian Research Council (ARC)

Platforms: C++ CUDA

Model Documentation: Mathematical description Flow charts ODD

Model Code URLs: Model code not found


Lifespan and fecundity, the main components in evolutionary fitness, are both strongly affected by nutritional state. Geometric framework of nutrition (GFN) experiments has shown that lifespan and fecundity are separated in nutrient space leading to a functional trade-off between the two traits. Here we develop a spatially explicit agent-based model (ABM) using the GFN to explore how ecological factors may cause selection on macronutrient appetites to optimally balance these life-history traits. We show that increasing the risk of extrinsic mortality favours intake of a mixture of nutrients that is associated with maximal fecundity at the expense of reduced longevity and that this result is robust across spatial and nutritional environments. These model behaviours are consistent with what has been observed in studies that quantify changes in life history in response to environmental manipulations. Previous GFN-derived ABMs have treated fitness as a single value. This is the first such model to instead decompose fitness into its primary component traits, longevity and fecundity, allowing evolutionary fitness to be an emergent property of the two. Our model demonstrates that selection on macronutrient appetites may affect life-history trade-offs and makes predictions that can be directly tested in artificial selection experiments.
Protocol Restriction longevity growth Drosophila Reproduction Evolution Agent-based modelling GPU Appetite In silico evolution Life histories Nutritional geometry