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Citation. Grace, J.; Tilman, D. 1990. Perspectives on plant competition: some introductory remarks. Pages 2-7 in J. Grace and D. Tilman, Eds., Perspectives on Plant Competition, Academic Press, New York. [1058 LTER]
Introduction. Competition among plants was likely discovered by the first farmers during neolithic agriculture. Some of the first scientific treatments of the subject can be found in the works of de Crescentiis (1305) and DeCandolle (1820). Inspired by the logic of Malthus (1798), Darwin (1859) wrote extensively about competition as an important selective agent for all types of organisms. Early botanists and vegetation ecologists considering interspecific competition to be an integral part of nature. Agricultural and forestry practices have long attempted to minimize the effects of undesired plants. One of the first exclusive treatments of the subject was published in 1929 by Clement et al. This seminal work contains a detailed description of the early history of plant competition as well as a wealth of empirical information. As with most areas of science, the literature dealing with competition has grown dramatically in recent decades.
Keywords. competition, agriculture,