The competition–colonization trade-off in plants is considered to result from variation in resource partitioning. Using different populations of the heterocarpic species Crepis sancta (Asteraceae), Dubois and Cheptou determine that non-dispersing achenes germinate earlier than dispersing achenes, and that this early germination provides a strong fitness advantage in the context of intraspecific competition. They find that, in spite of high morphological variation, resources do not differ among the different achene types, thus showing that the competition–colonization syndrome is more complex than simple partitioning of resources among seed types.
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