Population System - Species Splitting

One of the main goals for 0.4.3 is to finish this discussion and get this stuff implemented.

Feel free to read the above if you’re interested but TL:DR:

Things which are agreed: We have a set of patches with connections between them. In each patch lives some “population groups” (I’m just calling them that to have a word for it) which are a group of genetically identical individuals. Each “turn” (each time you go to the editor is 1 turn) there will be some amount of a: population groups being split into two, b: population groups being split into two and one half moved to another patch and c: auto-evo editing the population groups.

The goal of this discussion is to finish working out the exact mechanics of how this works.

The first question is “what is a species?” One option is to have each population group be it’s own species and if a population group is split (and maybe some is moved to another patch) then it is now 2 species. This means a species can only ever be in one patch and everything is very straightforward.

Other options people brought up above include that a species is many population groups. For example if a population group is split and half is moved to another patch then those two groups are still part of the same species.

If we have a system like this there’s a bunch of questions we need to answer:

If a species is many population groups in many patches what happens when auto evo suggests different mutations in different patches? Are the auto-evo results aggregated somehow? Can a species have non-identical population groups (such as 2 thylakoid + 3 thyloakoid prokaryotes could be part of the same species) if so how different can they be? If species must be identical population groups under what conditions are they split up?

When can species move? How far can they move? Can each population group only move to neighbouring patches each turn, can it move multiple patches or possibly to the whole map?

When population groups are split inside a patch are they still the same species? When should they split, under what conditions etc?

I think personally I don’t really mind how this works. What I want is for it to be relatively simple without a huge amount of calculations and complexity and also I want to avoid “spooky action at a distance” where if a species is in both some sunlit patches and an abyss then the ones in the abyss get a choloroplast because that was the average auto-evo result or things like that. I think population groups need to adapt to the patch they are in relatively tightly.

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