Evolution of Honest Signal and Cry Wolf Signal in an Ecological System

  • Megumi Sakai
  • Yasuhiro Suzuki
Part of the Mathematics for Industry book series (MFI, volume 14)


We model the tritrophic system composed of plants, herbivores, and carnivores, where plants produce chemical signals when they suffer from feeding damage by herbivores; and this chemical, Herbivore Induced Plant Volatile (HIPV) attracts carnivores, thus plants can indirectly protect themselves from feeding damages caused by herbivores. Carnivores in this system are able to evaluate and learn its usefulness of the chemical signals, therefore plants do not emit the chemical signals until the population of herbivores becomes large enough for carnivores, where in the coupled tritrophic system, it has been confirmed that there are plants called “cry wolf plants” that emit chemical signals even if there are few herbivores. It has been pointed out that if there emerges cry wolf plants in this system, chemical signals may change in order to preserve the quality of information and keep on attracting carnivores. We model the tritrophic system including cry wolf plants, and we confirm that the chemical signal may change through simulations of the model. Further we show the chemical signal may not change when plants grow densely in the field.


Tritrophic system Individual based model Cry wolf plants 



This work was supported by the JSPS Core-to-Core Program (No.20004), JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 23300317 and 24520106 and the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas Grand Number 2404002.


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© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information and ScienceNagoya UniveristyFurocho Chikusa NagoyaJapan

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