Character displacement  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Character displacement refers to the phenomenon where differences among similar species whose distributions overlap geographically are accentuated in regions where the species co-occur but are minimized or lost where the species’ distributions do not overlap. This pattern results from evolutionary change driven by competition among species for a limited resource (e.g. food). The rationale for character displacement stems from the competitive exclusion principle, also called Gause's Law, which contends that to coexist in a stable environment two competing species must differ in their respective ecological niche; without differentiation, one species will eliminate or exclude the other through competition.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Character displacement" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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