Habitat destruction and competitive coexistence in spatially explicit models with local interactions

Claudia Neuhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


We investigate the competition-colonization trade-off in a two-species competition model in various heterogeneous environments. The competitiveness of species is hierarchically ordered and the dynamics of the model are described by spatially local interactions of individuals. The size of the local neighborhood may depend on the species. The habitat consists of inhabitable and permanently destroyed sites. It was previously observed that destruction of habitat may aid the inferior species and cause the superior species to go extinct. These conclusions were based on an n-species model in which the spatial arrangement of destroyed sites was ignored. We examine the effects of different spatial arrangements of destroyed sites on survival and coexistence of the two species. We conclude that the spatial arrangement plays an important role and can influence the outcome qualitatively and quantitatively. The key quantity for predicting the outcome of habitat destruction on species survival is the relationship between the mean dispersal distance and the mean distance between inhabitable and destroyed sites. We contrast the hierarchical model with a version of the Lotka-Volterra model of interspecific competition and show that habitat destruction can alter the dominance relationship between species by reducing intraspecific competition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-463
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 7 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Alfred P[ Sloan Research Fellow during 0883 0885[ Partially supported by the National Science Foundation under grants DMS!8392533 and DMS!8692583[ This work was partially done while the author visited the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology\ Princeton University\ during 0884:0885 and the author wishes to express her gratitude for their warm hospitality[ The author also wishes to thank David Tilman and Clarence Lehman for discussions and Chris Klausmeier and Tony Ives for discussions and comments on an earlier version[


Dive into the research topics of 'Habitat destruction and competitive coexistence in spatially explicit models with local interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this