A new hypothesis for species coexistence: Male-male repulsion promotes coexistence of competing species

Osamu K. Mikami, Masanori Kohda, Masakado Kawata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose a new hypothesis for species coexistence by considering behavioral interactions between individuals. The hypothesis states that repulsive behavior between conspecific males (male-male repulsion) creates space for competing species, which promotes their coexistence. This hypothesis can explain the coexistence of two competing species even when their ecological niches completely overlap in spatially homogeneous environments. In addition, the mechanisms underlying such behavior might play a role in enabling the coexistence of two species immediately after speciation, with little or no niche differentiation, as in the case of cichlid fish communities, for example. Although there is limited evidence supporting this hypothesis, it can nevertheless explain the occurrence of species coexistence and biodiversity, which cannot be explained by previous theories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-217
Number of pages5
JournalPopulation Ecology
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Aug 1

Keywords

  • Behavioral interaction
  • Coexistence after speciation
  • Janzen-Connell hypothesis
  • Territorial behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

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