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What does "Niche Complementarity" means?


On this website they define "Niche Complementarity" as:

The tendency for coexisting species which occupy a similar position along one niche dimension

I don't quite understand this definition. The tendency to do what?


Notes:

  • I know what is an ecological niche and therefore what is a niche dimension. There is no necessary need to define this.

  • I am particularly interested in the use of this concept in speciation and adaptive radiation

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There's more to the definition, it's less clear because of the inserted e.g.'s. The definition is: "The tendency for coexisting species which occupy a similar position along one niche dimension to differ along another;" I took out the examples of altitude and diet. –  A. Kennard Nov 24 '13 at 14:00
    
@A.Kennard I still donn't get how you manage to read the whole definition but anyway, the important thing is that I now understand the concept of "niche complementarity"! Thank you. You can make an answer out of your comment if you wish. –  Remi.b Nov 24 '13 at 14:11
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2 Answers

There is a really good discussion of this in Chesson & Kuang Nature 2008, they propose a way to measure niche complementarity accounting for competition and predation.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

As it has been said by @A.kennard in the comments, the definition the OP found is not complete. The full definition on the link he gave is:

Niche Complementarity:

The tendency for coexisting species which occupy a similar position along one niche dimension to differ along another.

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