Solving the complementarity dilemma: Evolving strategies for simultaneous hermaphroditism

Philip H. Crowley, Ted Cottrell, Tiffany Garcia, Margret Hatch, R. Craig Sargent, Betty Jo Stokes, James M. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We introduce the complementarity dilemma, a two-player, binary response game in which the payoffs are highest when the two players respond differently. Using the classifier system EvA, we determine the evolutionary dynamics and structure of strategies that evolve to play an iterated version of this game, and we relate the results to the evolution of major types of sexual reproduction, particularly simultaneous hermaphroditism. We find that complementarity strategies consistently evolve under a broad range of conditions, but that those most consistent with simultaneous hermaphroditism can predominate only when a substantial cost of repeatedly adopting the female role is imposed. The cost is analogous to the fecundity reduction to be expected when a single partner must repeatedly produce the eggs in sexual reproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-26
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 7 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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