A Study Of Ecology And Its Effects On The Environment

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Competition in ecosystems has become central to the study of ecology, and has been implicated as a major factor behind the patterns of species abundance and distribution. Though often studied together, abundance and distribution are two distinct designations, abundance being the density of a species in a given area, and the spatial arrangement of that species in an area is referred to as the distribution (Brown, 1984). In ecological terms competition refers to a fight between two organisms, of the same species or different, for a limiting resource, leading often to an adverse effect on one or both organism (Birch, 1957). When one of the organisms in the competition out competes the other for the desired resource this results in a negative…show more content…
It is important to emphasize that exploitation and interference competition mechanisms can be intraspecific or interspecific, thus are classified as real competition, while apparent competition is typically only of the interspecific type (Birch, 1957). With that said, of all forms competition, interspecific competition, the competition between two or more species, has been studied most intensively as cause behind patterns of distribution and abundance within populations of species. However, there has been much disagreement regarding the prominence of interspecific competition in natural environment, and whether it actually effects the abundance and distribution of species. In this paper the history and application of interspecific competition, along with a common model used to illustrate it will be evaluated, through their use in various ecological researches.
History of Interspecific Competition Though the study of ecology is a relatively new science, the earliest records of competition in biology and in the environment can be traced back to Charles Darwin (Park, 1954). Darwin, the father evolution, placed great emphasis on the importance of competition, specifically interspecies competition, in the process of natural selection and species
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