By Prof. Dr. Ulrich Sommer, Dr. Boris Worm (auth.)

The query "Why are there such a lot of species?" has wondered ecologist for a very long time. at the beginning, an instructional query, it has won sensible curiosity by way of the hot wisdom of world biodiversity loss. Species variety in neighborhood ecosystems has constantly been mentioned in terms of the matter of competi­ tive exclusion and the obvious contradiction among the aggressive exclu­ sion precept and the overpowering richness of species present in nature. pageant as a mechanism structuring ecological groups hasn't ever been uncontroversial. not just its significance yet even its life were debated. at the one severe, a few ecologists have taken competi­ tion without any consideration and feature used it as an evidence through default if the distribu­ tion of a species was once extra constrained than might be defined through body structure and dispersal background. for many years, pageant has been a middle mechanism in the back of renowned ideas like ecological area of interest, succession, proscribing similarity, and personality displacement, between others. For a few, festival has virtually develop into synonymous with the Darwinian "struggle for existence", even supposing easy plausibility may still let us know that organisms need to fight opposed to even more than rivals, e.g. predators, parasites, pathogens, and envi­ ronmental harshness.

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In other words, each species consumes most of the resource for which the other two species are the better competitors. This gives stable coexistence of all three species at equilibrium. (2) Each of the three species consumes most of the resource for which it has the lowest R* value. In other words, each species consumes most of the resource for which the species itself is the better competitor. Here, the three-species coexistence 29 Competition in Well-Mixed Habitats A. 50,-------------------------------~ >.

Graphic summary of the chapter. Competition theory predicts that an increase in the number of resources that species are competing for enhances biodiversity and at the same time reduces predictability at the species level. Strictly interpreted, the figure applies to abiotic resources only. The general trends, however, seem valid for biotic resources as well level. An increase in the number of limiting resources will enhance opportunities for a high species diversity. Simultaneously, however, the predictability of the system is reduced.

Ecology 80:202-210 Huisman J, Weissing FJ (1994) Light-limited growth and competition for light in wellmixed aquatic environments: an elementary model. Ecology 75:507-520 Huisman I, Weissing FJ (1995) Competition for nutrients and light in a mixed water column: a theoretical analysis. Am Nat 146:536-564 Huisman J, Weissing FJ (1999) Biodiversity of plankton by species oscillations and chaos. Nature 402:407-410 Huisman J, Weissing FJ (2000) Coexistence and resource competition. Am Nat 157:488-494 Huisman J, Weissing FJ (2001b) Biological conditions for oscillations and chaos generated by multispecies competition.

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