Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 April 2021
The idea of the distinction between the two types of competition was first recognized by A.J. Nicholson. Most standard textbooks of ecology refer to his idea. However, as I see it, the distinction has not been adequately understood. I show the nature of competition in terms of the reproduction curves, incorporating the generalized model developed in Chapter 5. A graphical representation of the variation in these curves reveals that the two types of competition form a continuum and no sharp line can be drawn between them. It reveals that each curve (with a particular set of parameter values) is comprised of the two elements, scramble and contest, of competition. I also show that the continuum can be extended further to include elements of sociality (benefits from the formation of group) such that we cannot draw a sharp line between competition and sociality.