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15: Competition

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    Learning Objectives
    • Characterize the various types of competition between individuals, both within (intraspecific) and between (interspecific) species
    • Develop an appreciation for the role competition plays in driving evolution
    • Determine competitive outcomes using linked population models of two competitors (Lotka-Volterra Model)


    Competition is any interaction in which two individuals need the same limited supply, resulting on a negative impact on both individuals involved. Competition can occur among two individuals of the same species (intraspecific competition) or among two individuals of different species (interspecific competition) and can involve direct interactions (interference or contest competition) or indirect interactions (exploitation or scramble competition). The logistic growth model is a model of intraspecific competition, as the carrying capacity is a result of competition among individuals for limited resources (food, mates, etc.). To model interspecific competition, ecologists modify the logistic growth model to consider the impact of other species on shared resources. The resulting Lotka-Volterra Model can be used to predict competitive outcomes between two species, which include coexistence or competitive exclusion. 

    15: Competition is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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