Model of evolution with sexual and non-sexual reproduction
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Using a previously introduced model (Refs. [9, 10]) of biological evolution, we study the role of the reproduction pattern on the fate of an evolving population. Each individual is under the selectional pressure from the environment and random harmful mutations. The habitat (“climate") is changing periodically. Evolution of populations following three reproduction patterns are compared - an asexual one (without recombination) and two with recombination - asexual (meiotic parthenogenesis) and sexual. We show, via Monte-Carlo simulations, that sexual reproduction leads to a better adaptation to the environment, slightly better survival rates for the individuals and higher probability that the population will not become extinct in difficult external conditions. The benefits of sexual reproduction are enhanced by higher birth rates and lower mutation rates. In the case of low birth rates and high mutation rates there is a small preference for the meiotic parthenogenesis.
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