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.
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Apparent competition; Community ecology; Fourier analysis; Pattern formation; Resource competition|
|Research Programs:||Evolution and Ecology (EEP)|
|Bibliographic Reference:||Journal of Theoretical Biology; 339:3-13 (21 December 2013) (Published online 13 August 2013)|
|Depositing User:||IIASA Import|
|Date Deposited:||15 Jan 2016 08:48|
|Last Modified:||24 Feb 2016 15:15|
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