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Rock-Paper-Scissor Dynamics and Intransitive Competition link Ecology and Evolution
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  • Giacomo Delgado,
  • Daniel Maynard,
  • Jukka Jokela,
  • Thomas Crowther
Giacomo Delgado
ETH Zurich

Corresponding Author:gidelgado@student.ethz.ch

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Daniel Maynard
ETH Z├╝rich
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Jukka Jokela
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Thomas Crowther
ETH Zurich
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Rock-paper-scissors (RPS) dynamics have been shown to affect the evolutionary relationships within populations. These processes are analogous to the ways in which intransitive competition modifies ecological outcomes and the co-existence between species within communities. Here we explore the similarities between rock-paper-scissor dynamics and intransitive competition and how this link opens new avenues of research into eco-evolutionary processes. Intransitivity can drive the stable coexistence of phenotypes within species, as well as the diversity of species within communities. In addition, the links between these dynamics highlight possible feedback mechanisms that might operate across these evolutionary and ecological scales. Using simulations, we show that greater intraspecific intransitivity within a population can lead greater levels of intransitivity at the community-level, with direct implications for community diversity and stability. As such, RPS dynamics and intransitivity can serve as an ideal conceptual framework to understand the feedback mechanisms that drive diversity across evolutionary and ecological scales.