A simplex model for layered niche networks

Phil Fraundorf, Physics, University of Missouri at St. Louis

The standing crop of correlations in metazoan communities may be assessed by an inventory of niche structures focused inward and outward from the physical boundaries of skin (self), gene-pool (family), and meme-pool (culture). We consider tracking the progression from three and four correlation layers in many animal communities, to five of six layers for the shared adaptation of most humans, with an attention-slice model that maps the niche-layer focus of individuals onto the 6-variable space of a 5-simplex. The measure puts questions about the effect, on culture and species, of policy and natural events into a common context, and may help explore the impact of electronically-mediated codes on community health.