Skip to main content
Select Source:

competitive exclusion principle

competitive exclusion principle(exclusion principle, Gause principle) The principle that two or more resource-limited species, having identical patterns of resource use, cannot coexist in a stable environment: one species will be better adapted and will out-compete or otherwise eliminate the others. The concept was derived mathematically from the logistic equation by Lotka and Volterra (see Lotka–Volterra equations), working independently, and was first demonstrated experimentally by G. F.Gause in 1934, using two closely related species of Paramecium. When grown separately, both species populations showed normal S-shaped growth curves; when grown together, one species was eliminated.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"competitive exclusion principle." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"competitive exclusion principle." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/competitive-exclusion-principle

"competitive exclusion principle." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved October 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/competitive-exclusion-principle

competitive exclusion principle

competitive exclusion principle (Gause principle) The principle that two or more resource-limited species, having identical patterns of resource use, cannot coexist in a stable environment: one species will be better adapted and will out-compete or otherwise eliminate the others. The concept was derived mathematically from the logistic equation by Lotka and Volterra, working independently, and was first demonstrated experimentally by G. F. Gause (1934) using two closely related species of Paramecium. When grown separately, both species populations showed normal S-shaped growth curves; when grown together, one species was eliminated.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"competitive exclusion principle." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"competitive exclusion principle." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/competitive-exclusion-principle-0

"competitive exclusion principle." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved October 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/competitive-exclusion-principle-0

competitive exclusion principle

competitive exclusion principle A rule, derived by G. F. Gause in 1934, stating that two species that occupy the same habitat cannot also occupy the same ecological niche. Any two species that occupy the same niche will compete with each other to the detriment of one of the species, which will thus be excluded.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"competitive exclusion principle." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"competitive exclusion principle." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/competitive-exclusion-principle-2

"competitive exclusion principle." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved October 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/competitive-exclusion-principle-2