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Interspecific Competition in Ground-Beetle Assemblages (Carabidae): What Have We Learned?

Jari Niemelä
Oikos
Vol. 66, No. 2 (Mar., 1993), pp. 325-335
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3544821
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3544821
Page Count: 11
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Interspecific Competition in Ground-Beetle Assemblages (Carabidae): What Have We Learned?
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Abstract

Studies of interspecific competition and resource partitioning among ground-beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) are reviewed. Half of the 32 papers reported that interspecific competition was operating in extant carabid assemblages or was responsible for apparent resource partitioning. However, severe effects, such as competitive exclusion, were not demonstrated. Although action of competition in the past was often invoked to explain apparent resource partitioning, in general evidence is weak. Overall, many authors emphasized the role of competition in their systems but could not dismiss alternative explanations for community patterns. Usually only competition was studied, and its importance in relation to other factors influencing properties of carabid assemblages was rarely examined. Most studies were restricted to competition among adults but interactions between adults and larvae or between larvae may be more important. I conclude that both manipulative and non-manipulative studies should be used to further dissect effects of competition and other determinants of community organization. Combining studies of species history (phylogeny) and present day ecology should also provide further understanding of the importance of interspecific competition in community organization.

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