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Plants that occur naturally in harsh environments grow slower than those from more favourable habitats. These differences in growth rates persist when plants from contrasting environments are grown under favourable conditions. This volume covers research on inherent variation in plant growth at different levels of integration and topics include: root elongation and leaf expansion at the cellular level; carbon and nutrient economies of individual plants; comparative growth analyses of species from contrasting environments and life forms; and assessments of the ecological significance of traits that have evolved in species from contrasting habitats.