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Evolution and Competition

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In Darwin’s theory on the mechanism of evolution, competition among living things is viewed as a major part of the “struggle for existence” and therefore as a basis for natural selection (Darwin 1872). Competition becomes more severe the more alike the competitors are, because requirements of more like individuals are in general more similar. Coexisting species from the same genus compete on average more than other coexisting species of the same family, but usually the fiercest competition is found among individuals of the same species. Competition among conspecific individuals is an important determinant of natural selection among phenotypic variants of a given species. It is distinguished as intraspecific competition from competition between species, interspecific competition.


  • Interspecific Competition
  • Intraspecific Competition
  • Resource Spectrum
  • Utilization Variance
  • Exploitative Competition

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© 1990 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Christiansen, F.B., Loeschcke, V. (1990). Evolution and Competition. In: Wöhrmann, K., Jain, S.K. (eds) Population Biology. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-74476-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-74474-7

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive