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The evolution of the density of self-induced GaN nanowires as a function of the growth time, gallium rate, and growth temperature has been investigated by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Nucleation and coalescence effects have been disentangled and quantified by distinguishing between single nanowires and nanowire clusters. Owing to the very specific nanowire nucleation mechanism involving a shape transition from spherical-cap-shaped islands, the nanowire density does not follow the standard island nucleation theory. Furthermore, the detrimental nanowire coalescence process can be significantly reduced by raising the growth temperature.