What Is Character Displacement?

character-displacement Credit: cantfind/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Character displacement occurs when certain characteristics react to evolutionary factors and stimuli. This displacement allows closely related species to coexist in societies without creating different species, breeds or overgrowing the population of a species.

While it has not been fully studied and is not fully understood, character displacement is still an important factor to many different living organisms. Character displacement is dependent on evolution and products of the environment. The same species of animal could have character displacement traits revealed in one setting while none of these traits would be evident in a completely different environmental setting. This displacement can help to limit the amount of reproduction that occurs within and between two species while creating a stronger pattern for a single species.

Character displacement can sometimes have negative effects on the population of a species. Since species will be less likely to breed and consequently reproduce, the numbers that are present in the species could quickly decline as a direct result of character displacement. This could lead to inbreeding in the species, which would result in more defects and deformities. It could also lead to complete extinction of the species since character displacement can prevent a species from successfully breeding in a natural environment.