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J Theor Biol. 1991 May 21;150(2):137-43.

What is resource partitioning?

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Department of Entomology, University of Queensland, Australia.


The concept of resource partitioning, as originally developed, relates to evolutionary change in species in response to selection pressures generated by interspecific competition. More recently it has taken on another meaning, one that is not defined in terms of evolutionary function, and which refers simply to differences in resource use between species regardless of the origins of the differences. Such a shift in usage has several drawbacks for ecological theory, which are discussed. Of most practical significance to ecologists is the inappropriate justification conferred on the continued use of a category that contains characters that are not equivalents. Ecologists are therefore frequently in the position of explaining the presence of species in an area by reference to the by-products of their adaptive evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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