Oecologia

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 245–256

Overlap in resource use, and interspecific competition

Authors

  • Peter F. Sale
    • School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Sydney
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00344924

Cite this article as:
Sale, P.F. Oecologia (1974) 17: 245. doi:10.1007/BF00344924

Summary

When several species co-exist, the amount by which they overlap in their use of resources is a measure of their similarity to one another. As such, resource overlap does not measure the amount of competition among them. When the resources are not limiting to population growth, patterns of resource use may overlap to any degree. However, when the species are frequently in competition for their resources, natural selection will favor the separation of their requirements, and the amount of resource overlap will be reduced.

This paper presents a technique which permits comparison of the amount of resource overlap observed in a given case with that expected for a group of similar species co-existing in the absence of competitive interactions. From this comparison can be evaluated the likelihood of competitive processes being important in the situation under study.

Download to read the full article text

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974