(ecology) A form of competition wherein organisms indirectly compete with other organisms for resources by exploiting resources to limit the resources availability to other organisms
In biology, competition refers to the rivalry between or among living things for territory, resources, goods, mates, etc. It is one of the many symbiotic relationships occurring in nature. Same (i.e. intraspecific) or different (i.e. interspecific) members of species compete for resources, especially for limited natural resources. Competitions may also be categorized generally into two based on the mechanism involved: (1) interference competition and (2) exploitation competition.
In exploitation competition, the competition between organisms is indirect. It is in contrast to the interference competition wherein the interaction between competing organisms is direct. In exploitation competition, the competition between organisms still result in the depletion of the amount of resources thereby limiting the availability of these resources for other organisms despite of the lack of direct interaction. Similar to interference competition, the exploitation competition applies to both intraspecific and interspecific competition. In intraspecific competition, the competing organisms are of the same species. They vie for same resources such as territory, mate, food, etc. An indirect type of competition between the same species is exhibited by bears that vie for food in the same area. The bear that catches fish in the river means that the fish would no longer be available for the other bears along the same river at different points. In this one, there is no direct interaction but there is still a competition among them for food. Indirect competition is also exhibited in interspecific competition. In interspecific competition, the opposing organisms are of different species. An example is the competition for light between tall trees and smaller plants in the same ecological area in the forest.