Acta Biotheoretica 31 (3):165-179 (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)
DOI 10.1007/BF01857239
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,593
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Economy of Nature and the Evolution of Sex.Michael T. Ghiselin - 1976 - Journal of the History of Biology 9 (2):324-324.
Niche, Habitat, and Related Ecological Concepts.M. Rejmánek & J. Jeník - 1975 - Acta Biotheoretica 24 (3-4):100-107.
The Theory of Island Biogeography.Robert H. Macarthur & Edward O. Wilson - 2002 - Journal of the History of Biology 35 (1):178-179.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Modeling Behavioral Adaptations.Colin W. Clark - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (1):85-93.
Learning and Incremental Dynamic Programming.Andrew G. Barto - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (1):94-95.
Models Are Just Prostheses for Our Brains.Manfred Milinski - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (1):101-101.

View all 27 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
68 ( #142,520 of 2,385,763 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #556,216 of 2,385,763 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes