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Trends Ecol Evol. 1991 Apr;6(4):135-9. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(91)90093-D.

The role of interspecific competition in the biogeography of island lizards.

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1
Dept of Biology C-016, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that interspecific competition has set important constraints on the distribution, abundance and evolution of island lizards. This is surprising not because competition is rare but because for a biogeographic pattern caused by species interactions to be detectable, it must be strong enough to override the many physical and historical differences that exist among real islands. Moreover, the direct pairwise links between species, once embedded in the complicated network of species interactions in entire communities, may become diluted and confused by the indirect interactions of still other species, particularly predators. Nevertheless, if competition is strong and if communities are simple (as they are on many species-poor islands), competition leaves its fingerprint on the ecological and evolutionary trajectories taken by island lizards.

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