, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 267–276 | Cite as

Effectiveness of size frequency distributions in regulating intraspecific spatial overlap of stream insects

  • William P. Kovalak


Spatial niche breadth and overlap of size groups of four species of epilithic stream insects were studied to determine if broad size frequency distributions serve to reduce intraspecific competition for space. Mean niche overlap decreased with greater breadth of size frequency distributions for only one species (Baetis intercalaris) and did not vary in relation to population density. Similarly, the ratio of the probabilities of intergroup and intragroup encounter did not vary as a function of the breadth of size frequency distributions. Therefore, it was concluded that changes in size frequency distribution have a minimal effect on intraspecific competition for space among epilithic species. It was suggested that observed size frequency distributions may be more a function of extant environmental conditions (temperature and flow) than of previous or extant intraspecific competition.


Benthos intraspecific competition niche breadth niche overlap 


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Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk b. v. Publishers 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • William P. Kovalak
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Natural SciencesUniversity of Michigan-DearbornDearborn

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