Exclusions, Explanations, and Exceptions: On the Causal and Lawlike Status of the Competitive Exclusion Principle

Jan Baedke
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Jani Raerinne
University of Helsinki
The basic idea behind the Competitive Exclusion Principle is that species that have similar or identical niches cannot stably coexist in the same place for long periods of time when their common resources are limiting. A more exact definition of the CEP states that, in equilibrium, n number of sympatric species competing for a common set of limiting resources cannot stably coexist indefinitely on fewer than n number of resources. The magnitude or intensity of competition between species is proportional to the degree of overlap in their niches or use of resources. Species that stably coexist do so because there are “important differences” in their niches or use of common limiting resources
Keywords competitive exclusion principle  causality  exception  ceteris paribus
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DOI 10.3998/ptb.6959004.0007.002
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