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Competitive Exclusion Principle

The principle of competitive exclusion was developed by G.F. Gauss argues that two species competing for the same resources cannot coexist. This law is also known as Gauss’s law.

Competitive Exclusion Principle

One value will give birth to another. If some individuals in a declining population remain, it may be because of their geographic overlap.

For example, if a forest is dominated by carnivores, there will always be a lack of food in the area. With food shortages, there will be competition between animals for survival. The stronger will defeat the weaker group and simply prosper.

Another example of competitive exclusion is the red squirrels replacing the gray squirrels in the UK. Red squirrel populations have declined due to the loss of peas, competitive exclusion and disease. The gray ants easily adapted to nature and gradually replaced the red ants.

Types Of Competitions

  • Interspecific: Competition between organisms of different species is known as interspecific competition.
  • Intraspecific: Competition between organisms of the same species is known as interspecific competition.


When organisms consume all resources, leaving none for other organisms, it is known as consumption. In this case, they are indirectly fighting for resources. Competitive exclusion is a natural phenomenon responsible for the evolution of organisms.

A niche is characterized by the set of conditions, resources and relationships that require the way of life of a species. Each species adapts to its environment and can tolerate different environmental factors to some extent. For example, the habitat of a fish species is classified by salinity, pH, temperature and type of food.

Resource Partitioning

Competitive exclusion can be avoided if one or both species in a niche evolve to use different resources or develop different feeding behaviors This evolution causes species to start using incompatible resources resulting in different niches. This is called Resource Allocation. This helps the species coexist.

Puerto Rico, for example, is home to a large population of anole turtles. Natural selection allowed them to flourish over time, dividing them into 11 species that use different resources and live in different habitats. This is a good example of resource allocation.

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