Original Articles

Outline of a new approach to the study of competition


Differential coefficients of five time‐dependent functions are proposed to quantify and define the following: the effect of competition on each of two competing populations, the relative aggressiveness of the populations, the competitive ability of each population with respect to the other, and the total effect of competition on the mixed community. Each coefficient is a certain linear combination of the relative rates of increase of the two populations under study; the populations must be grown separately as well as together if all five coefficients are required. The coefficients may he used best in situations which are characterised by continuous change in the sizes of the competing populations. They enable the change to be meaningfully quantified, using data which may often be ordinarily available.

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