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The Biology of Disturbed Habitats$
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Lawrence R. Walker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199575299

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575299.001.0001

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Temporal dynamics

Temporal dynamics

(p.173) 8 Temporal dynamics
The Biology of Disturbed Habitats

Lawrence R. Walker

Oxford University Press

Disturbances disrupt ecological patterns and processes and their effects continue for some time, often until the next disturbance adds its influence. Habitats can therefore be seen as being in a perpetual state of response to the most recent disturbance. Temporal change occurs at many scales, from short-term fluctuation of soil microbe populations to millennial responses to declining soil nutrients following, for example, the formation of fertile substrates by wind-blown deposits or a volcanic eruption. Succession is the study of temporal change in communities following a disturbance, typically studied at the temporal scale that corresponds to one to ten times the life span of the organisms of interest. This chapter focuses on successional change in response to disturbances. It first explores the rich body of theory about succession. It then considers various methods, followed by details about establishment and persistence of plants on newly disturbed surfaces. Species interactions among established populations, successional trajectories, and applications of successional knowledge are also examined.

Keywords:   microbe populations, fluctuation, temporal dynamics, species interactions, temporal change, soil nutrients, succession

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