, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 18-25

Competition intensity and its importance: results of field experiments with Anthoxanthum odoratum

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The effect of community productivity on competition was studied in 82 permanent plots using two removal experiments with the rhizomatous perennial grass Anthoxanthum odoratum. The removal of neighbouring plants had a positive effect on the number of shoots and total above-ground biomass of Anthoxanthum but no significant effect on mean shoot biomass. The relative competition intensity coefficient (RCI) calculated from these data showed that competition intensity increased with increasing community productivity. Similarly, the importance of competition and the difference between local maximum and local average population density increased with increasing community productivity. We concluded that for Anthoxanthum the impact of competition is greater in high-productivity areas and that competition reduces population density. No evidence was found supporting the importance of positive interactions between plants in tundra areas.