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Citation. Tilman, D. 1990. Mechanisms of plant competition for nutrients: the elements of a predictive theory of competition. Pages 117-141 in J. Grace and D. Tilman, Eds., Perspectives on Plant Competition. Academic Press, New York. [1174 LTER]
Introduction. John Harper, in reviewing competition studies, asserted that, although there was an extensive literature demonstrating the existence of competition and the effects of various environmental variables on competition, "it is very doubtful whether such experiments have contributed significantly either to understanding the mechanism of 'competition' or to generalizing about its effects" (Harper, 1977, p. 369). The main cause of this failing, I believe, has been the paucity of experimental and theoretical studies that were designed explicitly to study the underlying mechanisms of competition.