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27 October 2009

thesis topic take 7

environmental disturbance is a key ecological determinant of species composition. long lives and lack of motility in woody plants can lead to characteristic relationships to disturbance, either through close life-cycle coupling to dominant abiotic disturbance (i.e. flooding), or through biotic forcing of disturbance (i.e. fire).
these relationships to disturbance are mediated by nutrient and organism cycling, yielding causal, fitness-driven mechanisms of species abundance in woody plants. woody plants provide a fundamental, irreplacable ecosystem service of energy production. driven by intra-guild competition and abiotic limitations such as water, nitrogen, and phosporus, many woody plants have adapted to exploit a priori disturbance, or to drive new disturbance.

contrary to contemporary memes, many terrestrial ecosystems have been subject forceful stabilization as a result of human activity. humans supression of fire and flooding has ecological consequences, especially for woody plan

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