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The competitive exclusion principle predicts that there would just be a few species of plankton, but instead there are thousands.

To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
Competitive Exclusion Principle: The idea that two similar species cannot inhabit the same ecological niche.
Phytoplankton: Microscopic flora that drift with the ocean currents.
Lotka-Volterra Competitive Equations: A simple model of the population dynamics of species competing for the same resources.

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Scheffer, M., Rinaldi, S., Huisman, J. et al. (2003) Why plankton communities have no equilibrium: solutions to the paradox. Hydrobiologia 491, 9–18. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024404804748

Nicholas R. Record, Andrew J. Pershing, Frédéric Maps (2014) The paradox of the “paradox of the plankton”, ICES Journal of Marine Science, Volume 71, Issue 2,Pages 236–240. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fst049

Harden, Garrett. (1960). The Competitive Exclusion Principle. Science. 131. 3409 (1292-1297). Retrieved from: https://www.esf.edu/efb/schulz/seminars/hardin.pdf

Shovonlal Roy, J. Chattopadhyay, (2007) Towards a resolution of ‘the paradox of the plankton’: A brief overview of the proposed mechanisms. Ecological Complexity, Volume 4, Issues 1–2 (26-33). Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1476945X07000165

Susan Harrison, Howard Cornell and Kara A. Moore (2010) Spatial niches and coexistence: testing theory with tarweeds. Ecology, Vol. 91, No. 7 pp. 2141-2150 Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25680467

Direct download: The_Plankton_Paradox.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 3:48pm EDT