Competition

Competition for resources (e.g., light, water, nutrients, etc.) is normally asymmetric in a way that more competitive plants exert more influence on the fitness of less competitive plants than vice versa (Figure 6). Two kinds of competitions can be differentiated: inter- and intraspe-cific competition. In general, plants compete more with others of the same species and less with individuals of other species. In any case, competition is a major force shaping plant populations resulting in density-dependent processes. In general, density-dependence effects are more evident among early life-cycle stages of plants by killing offspring that fall near parents, whereas extant adult plants usually represent the result of a density-dependent selection. Density-dependent processes regulate populations by affecting fecundity and mortality schedules as population size changes.

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