The Russian scientist Gause in the 1930s first turned to an experimental study of competition. The results of experiments with three types of ciliates-shoes clearly demonstrated the main patterns and consequences of competition. In the first series of experiments, Gauze used two types of ciliates – caudate and eared. Ciliates were grown in test tubes, where daily limited portions of feed were used – bacteria of hay infusion or yeast, thereby creating conditions for competition. With their separate contents, both species multiplied well, their numbers grew and soon stabilized at the level of the medium’s capacity. When they were kept together in an environment where bacteria served as food, at first the number of both species increased, but then the number of the caudate shoe decreased, and as a result this species disappeared. Thus, the eared won the competition. However, when yeast did not serve as food for the ciliates, another species won the competition – tailed ciliates. It turned out that the products of bacterial metabolism inhibit the reproduction of the caudate shoe, and in the absence this species multiplies faster than the eared shoe. Therefore, changes in environmental conditions in this case, a change in feed, can affect the success of the species in competition. Nevertheless, the outcome is always the same – one species always defeats the other. In another series of experiments with a long-eared shoe and a bursaria shoe, it turned out that their co-existence was possible due to the fact that the species use the habitat differently: long-eared shoes stay in the water column and eat bacteria, and bursaria live at the bottom and eat yeast. As a result of these experiments, it was concluded that two species with the same environmental needs cannot exist for a long time in a stable environment. This pattern is called the Gause Competitive Exclusion Rule.
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