Selfthinning

We have seen throughout this chapter that intraspecific competition can influence the number of deaths, the number of births and the amount of growth within a population. We have illustrated this largely by looking at the end results of competition. But in practice, the effects are often progressive. As a cohort ages, the individuals grow in size, their requirements increase and they therefore compete at a greater and greater intensity. This in turn tends gradually to increase their risk of dying. But if some individuals die, then the density and the intensity of competition are decreased - which affects growth, which affects competition, which affects survival, which affects density, and so on.

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