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Trends Ecol Evol. 1994 Jul;9(7):246-50. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(94)90289-5.

Competition and coexistence in plant communities.

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Section for Soil Ecology, Dept of Ecology and Environmental Research, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7072, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.


Few ecologists today doubt that competition is an important structuring factor in plant communities, but researchers disagree on the circumstances where it is most intense, and on which traits can be considered to contribute to competitive ability in different species. The distinction between a species' effect on resources and its response to reduced resource levels might help to solve these questions. Whereas classical competition theory predicts competitive exclusion of species with similar requirements, recent ideas stress that species diversity may be explained by a multitude of processes acting at different scales, and that similarities in competitive abilities often may facilitate coexistence.

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