A series of experiments was conducted to examine the effects of competition on allometry and defense using tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum). No mortality occurred over the 4-wk test period, even with a plant density of 30 plants per 10-cm2. However, allometric patterns for log canopy diameter vs. log height indicated that competition occurred as early as 8 d after transplant and for pots with as few as two young plants (density of about 2 plants per 10-cm2). There was a change towards less root mass for greater height as competition increased. Leaf concentration of the allelochemicals chlorogenic acid, rutin and tomatine increased with decreasing competition, with the sum of these exhibiting a sigmoid-like pattern for allelochemical concentration. But competition did not affect leaf proteinase inhibitor activity, or petiole glandular trichomes or total trichomes. While the results are compatible with the growth-differentiation balance (GDB) hypothesis, they also indicate some of the difficulties that will be encountered in testing the GDB hypothesis rigorously.
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Vol. 151 • No. 1