A specter of coexistence: Is centrifugal community organization haunted by the ghost of competition?

Gideon Wasserberg, Burt P. Kotler, Douglas W. Morris, Zvika Abramsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In a centrifugally organized community species prefer the same habitat (called "core") but differ in their secondary habitat preferences. The first model of centrifugal community organization (CCO) predicted that optimally foraging, symmetrically competing species would share use of the core habitat at all density combinations. But one might also assume that the competition in the core habitat is asymmetrical, that is, that one of the species (the dominant) has a behavioral advantage therein. In this study, we asked how should habitat use evolve in a centrifugally organized community if its species compete asymmetrically in the core habitat? To address this question we developed an "isoleg model". The model predicts that in a centrifugally organized community, asymmetric competition promotes the use of the core habitat exclusively by the dominant species at most points in the state space. The separation of the core habitat use by the species ("the ghost of competition past") may be either complete or partial ("partial ghost"), and behavior at the stable competitive equilibrium between the species could determine whether coexistence should occur at the "complete-" or the "partial ghost" regions. This version of CCO should be a common feature of competitive systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-140
Number of pages18
JournalIsrael Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Asymmetric competition
  • Centrifugal community organization
  • Density dependent habitat selection
  • Ghost of competition past
  • Isoleg

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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