Habitat heterogeneity (e.g., given by variability in environmental conditions or resource availability) and competition strongly determine plant growth and survivorship. Individual plant growth rates are usually positively related with fecundity. Plants growing faster due to genetic factors and/or favorable microhabitat conditions are actually consuming more resources, which will lead to larger sizes, increasing offspring production and reducing mortality risk. Despite this general trend, under stressful conditions, many plants can exhibit important phenotypic changes shifting energy from growth to reproduction and advancing flowering.
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