Intraspecific competition

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Definition

noun

(ecology) A form of competition between members of the same species


Supplement

In biology, competition refers to the symbiotic interaction between or among living things for limited resources. These resources may be in the form of territory, goods, food (prey), mates, etc. Competition is one of the different symbioses that occur in nature. The competing organisms may be between the same or different species.

Competition may be intraspecific or interspecific. Intraspecific competition is a form of competition between members of the same species. An example of intraspecific completion is plants of same species (e.g. trees that grow very close together vie for sunlight and soil nutrients. These plants competing for limited resources such as soil nutrients and water are affected, particularly in terms of their growth and structure. Some plants that cannot obtain much sunlight tend to bend towards the sun. Other plants adapt by growing taller or developing bigger roots. Another example is the competition between territorial hartebeest and male deer competing for mates. Apart from the direct interactions between animal species, competition may also occur indirectly. Indirect interaction depicting competition is exhibited when for instance a bear that has caught a fish from the river would mean that the other bears along that river would not be able to catch that fish and therefore indicates an indirect competition.

Intraspecific competition is in general stronger than interspecific competition. One reason is the similarity in resource requirements between the same species.


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