This paper analyzes the stability of a coexistence equilibrium point of a model for competition between two stage-structured populations. In this model, for each population, competition for resources may affect any one of the following population parameters: reproduction, juvenile survival, maturation rate, or adult survival. The results show that the competitive strength of a population is affected by (1) the ratio of the population parameter influenced by competition under no resource limitation (maximum compensatory capacity) over the same parameter under a resource limitation due to competition (equilibrium rate) and (2) the ratio of interspecific competition over intraspecific competition; this ratio was previously shown to depend on resource-use overlap. The former ratio, which we define as fitness, can be equalized by adjusting organisms' life history strategies, thereby promoting coexistence. We conclude that in addition to niche differentiation among populations, the life history strategies of organisms play an important role in coexistence.
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