HOME

TheInfoList




Pioneer species are hardy
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
which are the first to
colonize Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migrants maintain strong links with their or their ancestors' former country, gaining significant privileges over other inhabitants of the territory by such links ...
barren environments or previously biodiverse
steady-state In systems theory, a system or a Process theory, process is in a steady state if the variables (called state variables) which define the behavior of the system or the process are unchanging in time. In continuous time, this means that for those pro ...
ecosystems that have been disrupted, such as by fire. Some
lichen A lichen ( , ) is a composite organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classified by taxonomy ( ...

lichen
s grow on rocks without soil, so may be among the first of life forms, and break down the rocks into soil for plants.LICHEN BIOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, LICHENS OF NORTH AMERICA, Sylvia and Stephen Sharnoff

/ref> Since some uncolonized land may have thin, poor quality soils with few nutrients, pioneer species are often hardy plants with adaptations such as long roots, root nodes containing Diazotroph, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and leaves that employ
transpiration in a tomato The tomato is the edible berry of the plant ''Solanum lycopersicum'', commonly known as a tomato plant. The species originated in western South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere ...

transpiration
. Note that they are often
photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ' ...

photosynthetic
plants, as no other source of energy (such as other species) except light energy is often available in the early stages of succession, thus making it less likely for a pioneer species to be non-photosynthetic. The plants that are often pioneer species also tend to be
wind-pollinated Anemophily or wind pollination is a form of pollination Pollination is the transfer of pollen Pollen Tube Diagram Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are male microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce mal ...
rather than insect-pollinated, as insects are unlikely to be present in the usually barren conditions in which pioneer species grow; however, pioneer species tend to reproduce asexually altogether, as the extreme or barren conditions present make it more favourable to reproduce asexually in order to increase
reproductive success Reproductive success is an individual's production of offspring per breeding event or lifetime. This is not limited by the number of offspring produced by one individual, but also the reproductive success of these offspring themselves. Reproductive ...
rather than invest energy into
sexual reproduction Sexual reproduction is a type of reproduction Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is the biological process Biological processes are those processes that are vital for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, ...
. Pioneer species will die creating
plant litter Litterfall, plant litter, leaf litter, tree litter, soil litter, or duff, is dead plant material (such as leaf, leaves, Bark (botany), bark, Needle (botany), needles, twigs, and cladodes) that have fallen to the ground. This detritus or dead organ ...
, and break down as "
leaf mold Leaf mold (Leaf mould outside of the United States) is the compost produced by decomposition of deciduous shrub and tree leaves, primarily by fungal breakdown. Description Leaves shed in autumn tend to have a very low nitrogen content and are often ...
" after some time, making new soil for
secondary succession Secondary succession is one of the two types ecological succession of a plant's life. As opposed to the first, primary succession, secondary succession is a process started by an event (e.g. forest fire, harvesting, hurricane, etc.) that reduces an ...

secondary succession
(see below), and nutrients for small fish and
aquatic plant Aquatic plants are plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and included algae and fungi; howeve ...
s in adjacent bodies of water. Examples of the plants and organisms that colonize such areas are pioneer species: * Barren sand - lyme grass (''
Leymus arenarius ''Leymus arenarius'' is a psammophilic (sand-loving) species of grass in the family Poaceae, native to the coasts of Atlantic and Northern Europe. ''Leymus arenarius'' is commonly known as sand ryegrass, sea lyme grass, or simply lyme grass.
''), sea c * Solidified
lava flows of pāhoehoe lava, Hawaii, United States , Iceland in 1984 Lava is molten Rock (geology), rock (magma 300px, Lava flow on Hawaii (island), Hawaii. Lava is the extrusive equivalent of magma. Magma (from Ancient Greek μάγμα (''mágma'') ...

lava flows
- in
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
: swordfern (''
Polystichum munitum ''Polystichum munitum'', the western swordfern, is an evergreen fern native to western North America, where it is one of the most abundant ferns. It occurs along the Pacific coast from southeastern Alaska to southern California, and also inland e ...

Polystichum munitum
''), ‘ōhi‘a lehua (''
Metrosideros polymorpha ''Metrosideros polymorpha'', the ''ōhia lehua'', is a species of flowering evergreen tree in the Myrtus, myrtle family, Myrtaceae, that is Endemism, endemic to the six largest Hawaiian Islands, islands of Hawaii, Hawaii. It is a highly variable ...

Metrosideros polymorpha
''), ‘ohelo ('' Vaccinium reticulatum'') and ‘āma‘u (''
Sadleria cyatheoides ''Sadleria cyatheoides'', commonly known as amaumau fern or amau, is a fern species in the family Blechnaceae, in the eupolypods II clade of the order Polypodiales, in the class Polypodiopsida. It is Endemism, endemic to Hawaii and inhabits lava f ...

Sadleria cyatheoides
''); on
Surtsey Surtsey (" Surtr's island" in Icelandic, ) is a volcanic A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. ...
: lichen ('' Stereocaulon vesuvianum'' and '' Placopsis gelida'') and moss ('' Racomitrium ericoides'');
green algae The green algae (singular: green alga) are a large, informal grouping of algae consisting of the Chlorophyta and Charophyta/Streptophyta, which are now placed in separate Division (botany), divisions, together with the more basal Mesostigmatoph ...

green algae
* Disturbed areas such as construction sites, road cuttings and verges, cultivated lands - '''',
Nettle {{redirect, Nettle Nettle refers to plants with stinging hairs, particularly those of the genus ''Urtica ''Urtica'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification ...

Nettle
s, ''
Tagetes minuta ''Tagetes minuta'' is a tall upright marigold plant from the genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such ...

Tagetes minuta
'', ''
Bidens pilosa Immature fruiting head ''Bidens pilosa'' is an annual species of herbaceous flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae. Its many common names include black-jack, beggarticks, farmer’s friends and Spanish needle, but most commonly referred t ...

Bidens pilosa
'', ''
Argemone mexicana ''Argemone mexicana'' (Mexican poppy, Mexican prickly poppy, flowering thistle, cardo or cardosanto) is a species of poppy found in Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a Li ...

Argemone mexicana
'' * Bare clay - Orchids * Mountains -
Lichen A lichen ( , ) is a composite organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecu ...

Lichen
s


Pioneer fauna

The pioneering
fauna Fauna is all of the animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular r ...

fauna
will colonize an area only after
flora Flora is all the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, ca ...

flora
and
fungi A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...

fungi
have inhabited the area. Soil fauna, ranging from microscopic
protist A protist () is any eukaryotic Eukaryotes () are organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are c ...
s to larger
invertebrate Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column (commonly known as a ''backbone'' or ''spine''), derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart from the chordata, chordate subphylum vertebrate, Vertebra ...
s, have a role in
soil formation Pedogenesis (from the Greek ''pedo''-, or ''pedon'', meaning 'soil, earth,' and ''genesis'', meaning 'origin, birth') (also termed soil development, soil evolution, soil formation, and soil genesis) is the process of soil formation as regulated b ...
and
nutrient cycling A nutrient cycle (or ecological recycling) is the movement and exchange of organic Organic may refer to: * Organic, of or relating to an organism, a living entity * Organic, of or relating to an anatomical organ (anatomy), organ Chemistry * Org ...

nutrient cycling
.
Bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typ ...

Bacteria
and fungi are the most important groups in the breakdown of organic detritus left by primary producing plants such as skeletal soil,
moss Mosses are small, non-vascular flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tree, trees (genus ''Prunus'') and of some other plant ...

moss
and
algae Algae (; singular alga ) is an informal term for a large and diverse group of photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Co ...

algae
. Soil invertebrates enhance fungal activity by breaking down detritus. As soil develops,
earthworm An earthworm is a terrestrial invertebrate that belongs to the phylum Annelida. They exhibit a tube-within-a-tube body plan A body plan, ''Bauplan'' (German plural ''Baupläne''), or ground plan is a set of morphological features common to man ...

earthworm
s and
ant Ants are eusocial Eusociality (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population i ...

ant
s alter soil characteristics. Worm burrows aerate soil and ant hills alter sediment particle size dispersal, altering soil character profoundly. Though
vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an indiv ...
s in general would not be considered pioneer species, there are exceptions. Natterjack toads are specialists in open, sparsely vegetated habitats which may be at an early seral stage. Wide-ranging generalists visit early succession stage habitats, but are not obligate species of those habitats because they use a mosaic of different habitats. Vertebrates can effect early seral stages.
Herbivore A herbivore is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are organisms that form the Animalia. With few exceptions, animals , , are , can , and grow from a hollow sphere of , the , during . Over 1.5 million animal have been —of ...
s may alter plant growth. Fossorial mammals could alter soil and plant community development. In a profound example, a
seabird colony A bird colony is a large congregation of individuals of one or more species of bird that Bird nest, nest or Bird#Resting and roosting, roost in proximity at a particular location. Many kinds of birds are known to congregate in groups of varying siz ...
transfers considerable nitrogen into infertile soils, thereby altering plant growth. A
keystone species A keystone species is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group o ...
may facilitate the introduction of pioneer species by creating new . For example,
beaver Beavers are large, semiaquatic In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interaction ...

beaver
s may flood an area, allowing new species to immigrate.


Secondary succession and pioneer species

Pioneer species can also be found in
secondary succession Secondary succession is one of the two types ecological succession of a plant's life. As opposed to the first, primary succession, secondary succession is a process started by an event (e.g. forest fire, harvesting, hurricane, etc.) that reduces an ...

secondary succession
, such as an established ecosystem being reduced by an event such as: a
forest fire A wildfire, bushfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, unwanted, uncontrolled fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction ...

forest fire
,
deforestation deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss) showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest. File:MODIS (2020-08-01).jpg, 300px, Dry seasons, exacerbated by climate change, and the use of slash-and-burn methods for clearing tropical forest ...

deforestation
, or clearing; quickly colonizing open spaces which previously supported vegetation. Common examples of the plants in such areas include: *
Raspberry The raspberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is o ...

Raspberry
- ''
Rubus ''Rubus'' is a large and diverse genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, i ...

Rubus
'' spp. *
Heath A heath () is a shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community A plant community is a collection or Association (ecology), association of plant species within a designated geographical unit, which forms a relative ...

Heath
s -
Ericaceae The Ericaceae are a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of soci ...
spp. *
Graminoids In botany and ecology, graminoid refers to a herbaceous plant with a grass-like morphology, i.e. elongated culm (botany), culms with long, blade-like leaves. They are contrasted to forbs, herbaceous plants without grass-like features. The plant ...
,
forb A forb or phorb is a herbaceous Herbaceous plants are vascular plants that have no persistent wood, woody stems above ground, including many perennial plant, perennials, and nearly all Annual plant, annuals and Biennial plant, biennials. Def ...
s, and -
native Native may refer to: People * Jus soli, citizenship by right of birth * Indigenous peoples, peoples with a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory ** Native Americans (disambiguation) In arts and entertain ...

native
, introduced, and
invasive species An invasive species is an introduced organism that becomes overpopulated and negatively alters its new environment. Although their spread can have beneficial aspects, invasive species adversely affect the invaded habitat Ibex in an ...
: such as fire dependent seed,
cone A cone is a three-dimensional Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called parameter A parameter (from the Ancient Greek language, Ancient Greek wikt:πα ...
, and
resprouter Resprouters are plant species that are able to survive fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), products. Fire is h ...
chaparral Chaparral ( ) is a shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominance (ecology), dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, Herbaceous plant, herbs, and geophytes. Shrublan ...

chaparral
genera.


See also

*
Colony (biology) In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms ...
*
Ruderal species '' on gravel near Petah Tikva Petah Tikva ( he, פֶּתַח תִּקְוָה, , "Opening of Hope"), also known as ''Em HaMoshavot'' ("Mother of the ''Moshava, Moshavot''"), is a city in the Central District (Israel), Central District of Israel, e ...
*
Climax species Climax species, also called late seral, late-successional, K-selected In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Pioneer Species Ecological succession Ecology terminology Botany Forest ecology *