Competition theory, evolution, and the concept of an ecological niche

Acta Biotheoretica 31 (3) (1982)
This article examines some of the main tenets of competition theory in light of the theory of evolution and the concept of an ecological niche. The principle of competitive exclusion and the related assumption that communities exist at competitive equilibrium - fundamental parts of many competition theories and models - may be violated if non-equilibrium conditions exist in natural communities or are incorporated into competition models. Furthermore, these two basic tenets of competition theory are not compatible with the theory of evolution. Variation in ecologically significant environmental factors and non-equilibrium in population numbers should occur in most natural communities, and such changes have important effects on community relations, niche overlap, and the evolution of ecosystems. Ecologists should view competition as a process occurring within a complexdynamic system, and should be wary of theoretical positions built upon simple laboratory experiments or simplistic mathematical models.In considering the relationship between niche overlap and competition, niche overlap should not be taken as a sufficient condition for competition; many factors may prevent or diminish competition between populations with similar resource utilization patterns. The typically opposing forces of intraspecific and interspecific competition need to be simultaneously considered, for it is the balance between them that in large part determines niche boundaries
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    31 ( #47,435 of 1,089,155 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,735 of 1,089,155 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.