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Author (up) Scheffer, M.; van Nes, E.H. doi  openurl
  Title Self-organized similarity, the evolutionary emergence of groups of similar species Type Journal Article
  Year 2006 Publication Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Abbreviated Journal Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.  
  Volume 103 Issue 16 Pages 6230-6235  
  Keywords Animals; *Competitive Behavior; *Ecosystem; *Evolution; *Models, Biological  
  Abstract Ecologists have long been puzzled by the fact that there are so many similar species in nature. Here we show that self-organized clusters of look-a-likes may emerge spontaneously from coevolution of competitors. The explanation is that there are two alternative ways to survive together: being sufficiently different or being sufficiently similar. Using a model based on classical competition theory, we demonstrate a tendency for evolutionary emergence of regularly spaced lumps of similar species along a niche axis. Indeed, such lumpy patterns are commonly observed in size distributions of organisms ranging from algae, zooplankton, and beetles to birds and mammals, and could not be well explained by earlier theory. Our results suggest that these patterns may represent self-constructed niches emerging from competitive interactions. A corollary of our findings is that, whereas in species-poor communities sympatric speciation and invasion of open niches is possible, species-saturated communities may be characterized by convergent evolution and invasion by look-a-likes.  
  Address Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8080, 6700 DD, Wageningen, The Netherlands.  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language English Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 0027-8424 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes PMID:16585519 Approved no  
  Call Number refbase @ user @ Serial 510  
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