Competition between wild oat (Avena fatua L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was studied in two experiments; a replacement series model and a technique for separation of root and shoot systems. Wild oat and wheat in association resulted in a relative yield total very close to unity showing that the two species were 'crowding for the same space' (or competing for the same resources) and were 'mutually exclusive'. Wild oat was more competitive than wheat, as shown by its aggressivity relative to wheat, relative yields, shoot dry weights and other plant attributes. The greater competitive ability of wild oat was predominantly due to its greater root competitive ability, while the two species had similar shoot competitive ability. Root competition had a much greater effect on the relative performance of the two species than did shoot competition. The effects of root and shoot competition were additive.