Abstract. How organisms create and destroy resources in their local environment is a crucial feature of whether they can cooperate in the maintenance of those resources. The working group “Cooperation and Constructing the Commons in Spatially Complex Communities” will address the question of how organisms solve social dilemmas when they can modify their environment through resource use or creation. The aim is to produce a more general framework for how communities deal with the trade off between selfish resource use on a local scale and the creation of beneficial environments through prudent resource use on a global scale. The results will be relevant cooperative phenomena in many fields including evolutionary biology, ecology, anthropology, sociology, economics, and political science.