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Limiting similarity, species packing, and the shape of competition kernels
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, ISSN 0022-5193, E-ISSN 1095-8541, Vol. 339, 3-13 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A traditional question in community ecology is whether species' traits are distributed as more-or-less regularly spaced clusters. Interspecific competition has been suggested to play a role in such structuring of communities. The seminal theoretical work on limiting similarity and species packing, presented four decades ago by Robert MacArthur, Richard Levins and Robert May, has recently been extended. There is now a deeper understanding of how competitive interactions influence community structure, for instance, how the shape of competition kernels can determine the clustering of species' traits. Competition is typically weaker for greater phenotypic difference, and the shape of the dependence defines a competition kernel. The clustering tendencies of kernels interact with other effects, such as variation in resource availability along a niche axis, but the kernel shape can have a decisive influence on community structure. Here we review and further extend the recent developments and evaluate their importance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 339, 3-13 p.
Keyword [en]
Community ecology, Resource competition, Apparent competition, Pattern formation, Fourier analysis
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97634DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2013.08.005ISI: 000327292600002OAI: diva2:680880


Available from: 2013-12-18 Created: 2013-12-16 Last updated: 2013-12-18Bibliographically approved

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Leimar, Olof
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