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    Ecosystems: Disturbance-Adapted v/s Immature

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    A variety of enviornments are adapted to disturbance, including fire-adapted grasslands, fire-dependent forest types and floodplains. How can I explain the difference between distrubance-adapted ecosystems and ecoystems that simply never mature and never reach climax conditions?

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    Disturbance is an episodic stress that causes substantial changes in the structure and function of ecosystems. Depending on its severity and extent, disturbance can influence individual organisms or entire stands, disrupting relationships among individuals within the community, and affecting ecological processes such as productivity, nutrient cycling, and decomposition. Natural disturbances can be caused by intense events of physical disruption associated with, for example, a hurricane, tornado, oceanic tidal wave, earthquake, the blast of a volcanic eruption, or over geological timespans, the advance and retreat of glaciers. Natural disturbances are also associated with wildfire, and with biological events, such as an irruption of defoliating insects that can kill a mature forest. Human activities are also important sources of ecological disturbances, as is the case of agricultural practices such as plowing, the harvesting of trees from forests, construction activities etc.

    Once the intense physical, chemical, or biological stress associated with an event of disturbance is relaxed, succession begins, and this process may eventually restore an ecosystem similar to that present prior to the disturbance. However, depending on environmental circumstances, a rather different ecosystem may ...

    Solution Summary

    Disturbance-adapted and immature ecosystems are compared in the solution.