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coexistencecoexistence (fr.); Koexistenz (ger.)

  • 1) Cooccurrence of organisms of different species at one place, which may be mutually beneficial.

    [Etres coexistans

    Bonnet, C. de (1764-65). Contemplation de la nature (Œuvres, vol. 7-9, Neuchâtel 1781): I, 7.]


    [co-existing species

    Lyell, C. (1830-33). Principles of Geology, 3 vols.: II, 58.]


    Plants which inhabit the same station are not only connected one with another by simple relations of coexistence, but also by a bond of reciprocal interest, for certain of them receive benefit and profit from the conditions caused by the presence of others.

    Flahault, C. (1901). A project for phytogeographic nomenclature. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 28, 391-409: 401.


    Die Koexistenz ist das Nebeneinanderbestehen von Organismen verschiedener Arten in einer Region, das bei sehr ähnlichen Umweltansprüchen durch Konkurrenz langfristig erschwert oder sogar ausgeschlossen wird.

    Toepfer, G. (2011). Historisches Wörterbuch der Biologie. Geschichte und Theorie der biologischen Grundbegriffe, vol. 2: 231.

  • 2) Cooccurrence of competing organisms at one place.

    Further work showed that reproductive isolation alone is not sufficient to permit coexistence of two species at the same locality. They also must be sufficiently different in their ecological requirements to avoid too severe a competition (Crombie, 1947).

    Mayr, E. (1949). Speciation and selection. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 93, 514-519: 515; cf. Crombie, A.C. (1947). Interspecific competition. J. Animal Ecol. 16, 44-73: 66


    A multiplicity of habitats in a given territory makes possible coexistence of sympatric forms of life.

    Dobzhansky, T. & Pavan, C. (1950). Local and seasonal variations in relative frequencies of species of Drosophila in Brazil. Journal of Animal Ecology 19, 1-14: 13.


    Clearly the advantage homunculus possesses in exploiting Guzmania lingulata is precisely the type of specialization that theoretical considerations argue is necessary for coexistence with its sister species.

    Pittendrigh, C.S. (1950). The ecotopic specialization of Anopheles homunculus; and its relation to competition with A. bellator. Evolution 4, 64-78: 71.


    predator-mediated coexistence

    Caswell, H. (1978). Predator-mediated coexistence: A nonequilibrium model. Amer. Nat. 112, 127-154; cf. Hastings, A. (1978). Spatial heterogeneity and the stability of predator-prey systems: predator-mediated coexistence. Theor. Popul. Biol. 14, 380-395.