The need for species in ecologically based vegetation to be broadly compatible with one another has been discussed previously. When creating novel plant communities that may lie outside the community stereotypes in Tables 6.1 to 6.6, it is particularly important to undertake a more detailed assessment of likely compatibility in terms of the growth characteristics of each proposed species. Key factors in determining this are as follows.
Mixing species with widely varying growth rates, i. e. very fast and very slow, often leads to the former eliminating the latter by shading. For slow or very small growing species to persist in mixture with vigorous species, they must be highly shade-tolerant or dormant during the summer months.