Interspecific competition increases local extinction rate in a metapopulation system

  title={Interspecific competition increases local extinction rate in a metapopulation system},
  author={Jan Bengtsson},
  • J. Bengtsson
  • Published 1 August 1989
  • Environmental Science
  • Nature
THE importance of interspecific competition for the distribution and abundance of organisms has been hotly debated during the last decade1-7. Although many field experiments have shown effects of interspecific competition on abundance and reproduction1,3, there is no unequivocal experimental evidence that interspecific competition can influence rates of local extinction in the field. Here I report that in a long-term field experiment with artificial rockpools, interspecific competition between… 

Interspecific competition in metapopulations

It is concluded that interspecific competition is important for the distributional dynamics of Daphnia species in rockpools, but the question whether the coexistence of these species depends on metapopulation dynamics is still unresolved.

The effects of colonization, extinction and competition on co-existence in metacommunities.

A theoretical model of regional co- existence is developed to generate a set of predictions on the patterns of colonization necessary for co-existence and the regional processes that can lead to competitive exclusion and empirically test these predictions using metacommunity microcosms of the interaction between two bruchid beetles.

Species coexistence and overlapping distributions in a metacommunity are compatible with niche differences and competition at a local scale

This research confirms previous studies that local extinction rates are influenced by environmental variables in a strong and species-specific way and are considerably increased by interspecific competition, and shows that this situation exists alongside interspecific differences in realized niches that are, overall, small.

Effects of landscape pattern on competitive interactions

Interspecific competition for shared and limiting resources is widely thought to be one of the forces, perhaps even the main force, that has shaped biodiversity in the past and continues to shape it

Modeling competition, niche, and coexistence between an invasive and a native species in a two-species metapopulation

17 Modelling the dynamics of competition and coexistence between species is crucial to predict 18 long-term impacts of invasive species on their native congeners. However, natural 19 environments are

Modeling competition, niche, and coexistence between an invasive and a native species in a two-species metapopulation.

A new statistical framework is proposed to evaluate metapopulation parameters (colonization and extinction) in a two-species system and how they respond to environmental variables and interspecific competition and is applied to a long-term survey of two snails inhabiting a network of freshwater habitats in the West Indies.


The distribution and extinction patterns within a northern metapopulation of the pool frog (Rana lessonae) were analyzed and the results confirm and emphasize the importance of interpopulation proximity and con- nectivity for metAPopulation persistence.

Daphnia metacommunity dynamics : the roles of inbreeding, parasitism, competition, and dispersal

It is proposed that the rare but naturally possibly more prevalent inbreeding, parasitism, and interspecific competition are suggested to affect colonisation dynamics in the metacommunity and to determine whether the sequential arrival of Daphnia species in rock pool habitats can result in local coexistence.

Predicting extinctions: interspecific competition, predation and population variability in experimental Daphnia populations

It is suggested that population vulnerability analyses not incorporating effects of interspecific interactions are often misleading, because the effects of species interactions on persistence were large and it is likely that population vulnerabilities are likely to be misleading.


The presence of strong inbreeding depression in a rockpool metapopulation of the planktonic freshwater crustacean Daphnia magna, which reproduces by cyclical parthenogenesis, suggests that if rockpool populations are inbred, hybrid offspring resulting from crosses between immigrants and local genotypes might have a strong selective advantage.



Field Experiments on Interspecific Competition

  • T. Schoener
  • Environmental Science
    The American Naturalist
  • 1983
Competition was found in 90% of the studies and 76% of their species, indicating its pervasive importance in ecological systems, and the Hairston-Slobodkin-Smith hypothesis concerning variation in the importance of competition between trophic levels was strongly supported.

On the Prevalence and Relative Importance of Interspecific Competition: Evidence from Field Experiments

  • J. Connell
  • Environmental Science
    The American Naturalist
  • 1983
The present survey illustrates how difficult it is to produce a clear and unambiguous demonstration of interspecific competition.

Life histories and interspecific competition between three Daphnia species in rockpools

This study supports the view that closely related species are often unable to exclude each other, even though competition may be intense, and local distribution patterns of rockpool Daphnia probably depend more on species-specific responses to abiotic factors, food density and predation, rather than on colonization, extinction and competitive exclusion.

A field manipulation of trophic interactions in rock-pool plankton

Three rock-pools were bisected with a plastic curtain and large Daphnia thrived well, though with fluctuating densities, throughout the summer, and the response of phytoplankton to the elimination of large herbivores varied between the rock- pools.

Competition and Regional Coexistence

A model of the competition between two species is developed and it is found that in some cases it is possible for one species to exclude another species from a geographic region, but there is no possibility of a "priority effect" where the first species in the region can always exclude the other.

Interspecific competition is not a major organizing force in many insect communities

It is shown that even where competition can be demonstrated, it need not have a major role in community organization.


Notonecta's predatory behaviour was shown to be stereotyped: neither level of hunger nor previous diet significantly influenced preference, and it drove mosquito larvae and D. pulex extinct and reduced the density of Moina sp.

Community structure and the niche

Competition and the niche limiting similarity and differential niche overlap, and theoretical effects of competition on the species niche.