Competition relationship between organisms

Ecological interactions (article) | Ecology | Khan Academy

competition relationship between organisms

How species with overlapping niches compete for resources. we could define a 3D space representing the organism's niche in relation to those variables. Parasitism – one species benefits while one is harmed. This close relationship between these two organisms is more complicated than you. Competition is an interaction between organisms or species in which both the organisms or species are harmed.

How species with overlapping niches compete for resources. Resource partitioning to reduce competition. In interspecies competition, two species use the same limited resource. A species' niche is basically its ecological role, which is defined by the set of conditions, resources, and interactions it needs or can make use of.

  • Relationships Between Organisms
  • Competition (biology)
  • Niches & competition

The competitive exclusion principle says that two species can't coexist if they occupy exactly the same niche competing for identical resources. Two species whose niches overlap may evolve by natural selection to have more distinct niches, resulting in resource partitioning.

Introduction Humans compete with other humans all the time — for jobs, athletic prizes, dates, you name it. But do we compete with other species? If you've ever gone camping and had you food stolen by an enterprising raccoon, bear, or other critter, you've had a little taste of interspecific competition — competition between members of different species that use overlapping, limited resources. Resources are often limited in a habitat, and many species may compete to get ahold of them.

For instance, plants in a garden may compete with each other for soil nutrients, water, and light. That is, each species would do better if the other species weren't there. In this article, we'll look at the concept of an ecological niche and see how species having similar niches can lead to competition.

competition relationship between organisms

We'll also see how species can evolve by natural selection to occupy more different niches, thus divvying up resources and minimizing competition. Each species fits into an ecological community in its own special way and has its own tolerable ranges for many environmental factors. For example, a fish species' niche might be defined partly by ranges of salinity saltinesspH acidityand temperature it can tolerate, as well as the types of food it can eat.

Competition (biology) - Wikipedia

If you look at different sources, you'll likely find slightly or significantly different definitions of this term. For instance, some people emphasize that the niche is the set of resources an organism needs or can utilize, while others emphasize that the niche is an organism's role or position in a community.

I would argue that these definitions can be seen as two different sides of the same coin: I've tried to capture this idea in the definition given in the main text. However, it would be a good idea to make sure you are familiar with the definition of "niche" used by your teacher or textbook.

competition relationship between organisms

Niche as an n-dimensional hypervolume Some ecologists define a niche in a more specific and mathematical way: I actually think this is a really cool and intuitive way of thinking about a niche, and though it may not be what you are learning about in intro bio, you may still find it interesting and helpful.

In this model, an organism's niche is defined by many intersecting axes. Each axis represents a different variable — for instance, if we were talking about a fish, we might use temperature, pH, and salinity as three of our axes. On each axis, the fish would be able to survive only within a certain range of values. By seeing where the ranges on the different axes intersected, we could define a 3D space representing the organism's niche in relation to those variables.

competition relationship between organisms

But the niche of our fish species wouldn't be fully defined by just three axes. For instance, what about levels of dissolved nutrients in the water? What about presence or levels of algae and other microorganisms? If you think about it, there are many different variables that define the conditions under which a fish can live. Because of this, the lion can choose to compete for antelope or to look elsewhere.

Competition - Untamed Science

Animals of different species typically compete with each other only for food, water and shelter. But they often compete with members of their own species for mates and territory as well.

Plant Competition Plants also compete for space, nutrients and resources such as water and sunlight. This competition can shape how the ecosystem looks.

Taller trees shield a forest's understory -- the ground beneath the forest's tree-top canopy -- from sunlight, making it hard for anything to grow but the most shade-tolerant plants.

The life cycles of some plants are also impacted because many shorter plants flower and bear seeds before the leaves of the taller trees are fully developed, which makes it possible for shorter plants to receive sunlight. Desert plants have developed shallow, far-reaching roots systems to successfully compete for valuable water resources, which is an example of how competition can affect the evolution of a species.

Symbiotic Relationships-Definition and Examples-Mutualism,Commensalism,Parasitism

Evolutionary Specification Scientists posit that competitive relationships may at least be partially responsible for the evolutionary process. In natural selection, the individuals of a species best adapted to the environment around them survive to reproduce and pass on the genetics that make them well adapted.

Take the giraffe for example, whose evolution of its long neck makes it possible to eat foods with little to no competition.


As an herbivore, it completes with other grazing herbivores such as zebras and antelope for food. Giraffes with longer necks are able to reach the leaves of high tree branches, giving them access to more food and a better chance of passing their genetics on to their offspring.

competition relationship between organisms

References Central Conneticut State University: Ecosystems and Biomes About the Author This article was written by the Sciencing team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.