Kayleigh Dyson has agreed to make her dissertation 'On exploitation in fish and fig wasps' available via the Mathsoc website under a CC A-NC-SA license.
Mutualistic relationships are often vulnerable to exploitation. Two such
examples are the fig wasp-fig tree system and the cleaner-client fish system. Under the
wrong circumstances, this exploitation can lead to problems for the species involved,
such as purging of the exploiter or breakdown of the mutualism. These systems can
be analysed using the techniques of adaptive dynamics in order to find the conditions
under which both mutualistic species and the exploiter can exist together in a stable
manner. Both systems can be driven towards coevolutionarily stable states in which high
levels of exploitation are favoured, the dynamics of which can be discussed in terms of
intraspecific competition amongst the exploiter species and its parallel species in the
purely mutualistic relationship.