Interference (ecology)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term interference within ecology describes one of the forms of competition between individuals, derived also between populations or species.

In ecology, a distinction is made between two forms of competition:

  • Interference and
  • Exploitation.

Competition through exploitation occurs through the use of resources such as B. Food. In principle, both competitors need the same resource. The supply for competitors is reduced through consumption or utilization. Interference competition is a summary of all other forms of competition. Interference occurs in a multitude of different forms, which apart from the fact that it is not exploitation, have nothing in common. A categorization by Schoener differentiates the following cases:

  • by using space (" pre-emptive "). A competitor occupies a limited area of ​​space (e.g. plants or other sessile organisms)
  • by overgrowth. The competitor is z. B. kept away from the light by shading.
  • by chemical substances. z. By releasing toxins that harm other individuals.
  • through territories. The competitor occupies a territory whose use by others is excluded.
  • through direct encounter. Mobile competitors can show aggressive behavior towards one another.


  • Colin R. Townsend, John L. Harper, Michael E. Begon, Michel Begon: Ökologie , Springer, 2003, ISBN 3540006745
  • Thomas W. Schoener (1983): Field Experiments on Interspecific Competition. The American Naturalist, Vol. 122, No. 2: 240-285.