Attractor Block
University of Minnesota
School of Mathematics


Some Mathematical Problems Concerning the Ecological Principle of Competitive Exclusion

Richard McGehee & Robert A. Armstrong

Journal of Differential Equations 23 (1) (1977), 30-52. doi: 10.1016/0022-0396(77)90135-8


Note.  Prior to 1980 there were many papers published examining the mathematical basis for the ecological principle of competitive exclusion. It was generally believed that there was a mathematical theorem that could be interpreted to conclude that, if n species coexisted competing for k resources, then n could not exceed k. This paper shows that this conclusion is false if one does not demand that coexistence occurs at constant population densities.

Electronic Copies

Reprints are available for download from the journal website:
doi: 10.1016/0022-0396(77)90135-8

A cached pdf file is available here.


Last update: May 19, 2018 ©2018 Richard McGehee