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I'm not from this field, but I'm trying to make a biology/ecology analogy for companies with similar products competing for the same market segment.

I was thinking of using the competitive exclusion principle to illustrate that the products will have to each find their own niche, or disappear from the market.

In a market, when opportunity arises (lots of capital available, and interest from the consumer side for an new product) many competing products spring up, and then we slowly arrive at an equilibrium similar to the exclusion principle mentioned before.

My question is this: Is there a similar "opportunity stage" of this process in nature? Like an increase in resources available that drives many different species to "appear" and compete for the newfound wealth?

Pointers to Wiki articles etc. for further research will be appreciated.

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Here are some definitions of interest to you

Ecological succession is the process of change in the species structure of an ecological community over time. The time scale can be decades (for example, after a wildfire), or even millions of years after a mass extinction.

A seral community (or sere) is an intermediate stage found in ecological succession in an ecosystem advancing towards its climax community. In many cases more than one seral stage evolves until climax conditions are attained.1 A prisere is a collection of seres making up the development of an area from non-vegetated surfaces to a climax community.

In biology, a disturbance is a temporary change in environmental conditions that causes a pronounced change in an ecosystem. [..] Because of these and the impacts on populations, disturbance determines the future shifts in dominance, various species successively becoming dominant as their life history characteristics, and associated life-forms, are exhibited over time.

Ecological facilitation or probiosis describes species interactions that benefit at least one of the participants and cause harm to neither.1 Facilitations can be categorized as mutualisms, in which both species benefit, or commensalisms, in which one species benefits and the other is unaffected. Much of classic ecological theory (e.g., natural selection, niche separation, metapopulation dynamics) has focused on negative interactions such as predation and competition, but positive interactions (facilitation) are receiving increasing focus in ecological research.

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