David Scott Smith-3/27/2013
This report discusses an experiment to study the relationship between the ecological niche and competition. The hypothesis formulated states that if competition traits are identical and resources are abundant than multiple species will be able to coexist, and if one species has an advantage over the others than this species will be more likely to out compete another species for resources. The objective of this experiment is to use a simulation model of a rabbit pen containing four different “species” of rabbits. The model establishes rules for each species that are based on a number of important characteristics reflecting their ecological niches and their competitive abilities. These…show more content…
When all four species were biologically identical, it was impossible to correctly predict which species would survive competition but when one or two species were given an advantage you could predict which species would survive the longest.
Conclusion: Different characteristics of species allows for the types of niches that can be occupied and whether or not they can be coexisted for example a food specialist will have anatomical and physiological adaptations that allow it to acquire and extract energy and nutrients from one food source extremely well, but will be at a disadvantage if that food source runs low. A food generalist may not acquire as much energy from the specialist’s preferred food, but will be able to make up for that by consuming other kinds of food. We can easily envision circumstances in which either species might outcompete the other. To achieve coexistence of species the carrying capacities of certain species must not be overshot and remain