Algae Biofuels and the Prisoner’s Dilemma
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) …As can be seen in the research by Perrine, Negi, and Sayre — a more optimal light distribution strategy is available to algae but they don’t take it, because they find themselves in the Prisoner’s Dilemma, unable to communicate with each other and co-operate for maximum mutual benefit.
With a shorter cross-section in the light-harvesting antennae, and when living in monocultures, the algae community simply grows faster, with improved photosynthetic efficiency and productivity.
More productivity, more algae, more biomass for harvest, more general benefits for the community. And not bad, either, for the individuals. It prompts us, as actors within the system, to take steps to care for and enhance algae — at the expense of their competitors in the water. READ MORE Abstract