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A progressive decline in the density of a population of growing plants. During the course of the self-thinning process, individuals become larger as the population density declines. If the logarithm of density is plotted against the logarithm of individual weight, then a straight line of negative slope is obtained, and the slope is generally −3/2. This relationship holds for a wide range of plants, from annual weeds to forest trees, and has become known as the ‘self-thinning rule’.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.

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