I am interested in the historical priority in population biology, essays or monographs, discussing the concept of territoriality prior to 1950.
What is it? In the early 18th century discussions of mortality due to conflict or starvation resulting from the scarcity of food, there was an implicit belief that the end result in the surviving population is widespread malnutrition, and some mortality due to starvation. Later, biologists and demographers realized that often no malnutrition in the surviving part of the population occurs, but a much greater mortality rate from starvation is observed.
If there are two stronger individuals, two weaker individuals and one pie, the outcome often is not that each individual takes a quarter of the pie due to common competition. That would result in general malnutrition if the food supply is sufficiently scarce, in turn causing us to observe starvation equally distributed in the population. Instead, in species with territoriality, the stronger (typically more aggressive) individuals each eat their fill (how much they would consume in the case food was not scarce) let's say half the pie, and the weaker individuals starve. This occurs because the stronger individuals expel the weaker individuals from larger foraging areas in proportion to the scarcity of food. Eventually, weaker individuals are expelled to areas without food, or are left with insufficient foraging areas to feed themselves, rather than all individuals competing for food in a single area.