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    Competitive exclusion principle and the ecological niche

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    1. What factors are responsible for rapid population growth in developing countries? What actions might slow or halt this growth?

    2. Why is the concept of carrying capacity difficult to apply to human populations? In reference to human population, should the concept be modified to include quality of life?

    3. IS THIS SCIENCE? Arguing against efforts to control the spread of exotic species, an editorial writer claimed that "ecosystems and those of us who live in them benefit from change and competition, just like human societies and economies." Evaluate this claim from a scientific perspective. Can this hypothesis be tested using the scientific method?

    4. An ecologist visiting an island finds two very closely related species of birds, one of which has a slightly larger bill than the other. Interpret this finding with respect to the competitive exclusion principle and the ecological niche, and explain both concepts.

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    Solution Summary

    Competitive exclusion principle 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 or to an evolutionary shift of the inferior competitor towards a different ecological niche.