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Competitive exclusion in ecology

The competitive exclusion principle, sometimes referred to as Gause's Law of competitive exclusion or just Gause's Law, states that two species that compete for the exact same resources cannot stably coexist.

One of the two competitors will always have an ever so slight advantage over the other that leads to extinction of the second competitor in the long run (in a hypothetical non-evolving system) or (in the real world) to an evolutionary shift of the inferior competitor towards a different ecological niche.

As a consequence, competing related species often evolve distinguishing characteristics in areas where they both coexist.

This aids in mate recognition, thus maintaining each species' superiority in exploiting slightly different ecological niches.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Competitive exclusion in ecology", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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