Competition and facilitation: A synthetic approach to interactions in plant communities

Ragan M. Callaway, Lawrence R. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1550 Scopus citations


Interactions among organisms take place within a complex milieu of abiotic and biotic processes, but we generally study them as solitary phenomena. Complex combinations of negative and positive interactions have been identified in a number of plant communities. The importance of these two processes in structuring plant communities can best be understood by comparing them along gradients of abiotic stress, consumer pressure, and among different life stages, sizes, and densities of the interacting species. Here, we discuss the roles of life stage, physiology, indirect interactions, and the physical environment on the balance of competition and facilitation in plant communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1958-1965
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1997


  • Community
  • Competition
  • Facilitation
  • Indirect interactions
  • Interactions
  • Life stage
  • Plant community
  • Positive interactions


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