Plant succession as an integrator of contrasting ecological time scales

TitlePlant succession as an integrator of contrasting ecological time scales
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWalker, LA, Wardle, D
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Volume29
Issue9
Pagination504–510
Date Published09/2014
Accession NumberLUQ.1163
Keywordsglobal change, hierarchical approach, plant–soil feedbacks, retrogression, Temporal scales
Abstract

Ecologists have studied plant succession for over a hundred years, yet our understanding of the nature of this process is incomplete, particularly in relation to its response to new human perturbations and the need to manipulate it during ecological restoration. We demonstrate how plant succession can be understood better when it is placed in the broadest possible temporal context. We further show how plant succession can be central to the development of a framework that integrates a spectrum of ecological processes, which occur over time scales ranging from seconds to millions of years. This novel framework helps us understand the impacts of human perturbations on successional trajectories, ecosystem recovery, and global environmental change.

URLhttp://www.cell.com/trends/ecology-evolution/abstract/S0169-5347(14)00153-0
DOI10.1016/j.tree.2014.07.002
Short TitlePlant succession as an integrator of contrasting ecological time scales