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Niche (competition) theory

It was demonstrated in a general way that the parameter range allowing a coalition of species to coexist shrinks, and disappears, with similarity of the species. Therefore, biological diversity is based on dissimilarity (Meszéna et al., Theor. Pop. Biol., 2006). The analysis specifies the sense the populations must differ, which provides an unequivocal way to define ecological niche. We demonstrated by functional analytic tools, that any model allowing a continuum of species to coexist must be structurally unstable (Gyllenberg & Meszéna, J. Math. Biol., 2005). In further publication we extended the theory for structured population, spatial heterogeneity and temporal fluctuations. The concept was applied to several different ecological situations. These results – because of their generality – provide unequivocal answers for basic questions of ecology, which were controversial for decades. They contributed to the concept of our new book Theory-Based Ecology.

Related papers:

  1. Mizera, F. & G. Meszéna:Spatial niche packing, character displacement and adaptive
    speciation along an environmental gradient.Evolutionary Ecology Research 5: 363-382 (2003)
  2. Gyllenberg, M. & G. Meszéna: On the impossibility of coexistence of infinitely many strategies. Journal of Mathematical Biology 50: 133-160 (2005)
  3. G. Meszéna, M. Gyllenberg, L. Pásztor & J. A. J. Metz: Competitive exclsion and limiting similarity: a unified theory. Theoretical Population Biology 69(1): 68-87 (2006)
  4. P. Szabó & G. Meszéna: Limiting similarity revisited. Oikos 112(3): 612-619 (2006)
  5. P. Szabó & G. Meszéna: Spatial ecological hierachies: Coexistence on heterogeneous landscapes via scale niche diversification. Ecosystems 9: 1009-1016 (2006)
  6. P. Szabó & G. Meszéna: Multi-scale regulated plant community dynamics: mechanisms and implications. Oikos 116: 233-240 (2007)
  7. A. Szilágyi & G. Meszéna: Two-patch model of spatial niche segregation. Evolutionary Ecology 23: 187-205 (2009)
  8. A. Szilágyi & G. Meszéna: Limiting similarity and niche theory for structured populations. Journal of Theoretical Biology 258: 27-37 (2009)
  9. G. Barabás & G. Meszéna: When the exception becomes the rule: the disappearance of limiting similarity in the Lotka-Volterra model. Journal of Theoretical Biology 258: 89-94
  10. K. Parvinen & G. Meszéna: Disturbance-generated niche-segregation in a structured metapopulation model. Evolutionary Ecology Research 11: 651-666 (2009)
  11. A. Szilágyi & G. Meszéna: Coexistence in a fluctuating environment by the effect of relative nonlinearity: a minimal model. Journal of Theoretical Biology 267: 502-512 (2010)
  12. G. Meszéna & A. Hendry: Introduction to Niche Theory and Speciation. Evolutionary Ecology Research 14(4): 361-363 (2012)
  13. G. Barabás, S. Pigolotti, M. Gyllenberg, U. Dieckmann & G. Meszéna: Continuous coexistence or discrete species? A new review of an old question. Evolutionary Ecology Research 14: 523-554 (2012)
  14. G. Barabás, R. D’Andrea, G. Meszéna & A. Ostling: Emergent neutrality or hidden niches? Oikos 122(11):1565-1572 (2013)
  15. G. Barabás, L. Pásztor, G. Meszéna & A. Ostling: Sensitivity analysis of coexistence in ecological communities: theory and application. Ecology Letters 17(12): 1479-1494 (2014)
  16. G. Barabás, G. Meszéna & A. Ostling: Fixed point sensitivity analysis of interacting structured populations. Theoretical Population Biology 92: 97-106 (2014)

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