By David W. Pfennig, Karin S. Pfennig

Evolutionary biology has lengthy sought to provide an explanation for how new qualities and new species come up. Darwin maintained that pageant is vital to figuring out this biodiversity and held that choice appearing to reduce festival reasons rivals to develop into more and more diversified, thereby selling new features and new species. regardless of Darwin’s emphasis, competition’s function in diversification continues to be debatable and principally underappreciated.

In their artificial and provocative publication, evolutionary ecologists David and Karin Pfennig discover competition's function in producing and retaining biodiversity. The authors talk about how choice can decrease source pageant or high priced reproductive interactions by means of selling trait evolution via a strategy referred to as personality displacement. They extra describe personality displacement’s underlying genetic and developmental mechanisms. The authors then give some thought to personality displacement’s myriad downstream results, starting from shaping ecological groups to selling new characteristics and new species or even fueling large-scale evolutionary developments. Drawing on a variety of experiences from traditional populations, and written for a vast viewers, Evolution’s Wedge seeks to motivate destiny learn into personality displacement’s many implications for ecology and evolution.

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Extra resources for Evolution's Wedge: Competition and the Origins of Diversity (Organisms and Environments)

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Redrawn from Schoener (2009). 6; see also Pacala and Roughgarden 1985; Pritchard and Schluter 2001; Gray and Robinson 2002; Schluter 2003). Such data are important, because it is on individual organisms that competitively mediated selection acts during the evolution of character displacement. Thus, ample evidence suggests that the more dissimilar any two species, populations, and individuals are in resource use, the less intense the resource competition between them and, therefore, the more likely they will be to coexist (all else being equal).

By “resources” we mean any feature of the environment—such as food, water, light, or space—that organisms need to survive and reproduce and that can be consumed or otherwise used to the point of depletion (exclusive of gametes or mates, which we discuss later in this chapter). By “limited” we mean that the resource’s supply is short relative to demand. Because resource competition ultimately depends on this ratio of demand to supply, 3 0 Ɠ C H A P T E R TWO the process of competing for resources is not an all-or-nothing process.

Here, the focal species are bacterivorous Paramecium, and the resource-use trait is mouth size. In this experiment, researchers introduced into a microcosm about 100 individuals each of two different species. Each species was Enfield, NH, matched against nine other species, for a total of 45 two-species combinations. After eight weeks, either competitive exclusion or stable coexistence was observed (the frequency of competitive exclusion was estimated as the fraction of times each species pair exhibited competitive exclusion out of the three replicates for that pairwise species interaction treatment).

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