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By S. Charles Kendeigh

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Which different species invade. When the volcanic island of Krakatoa in the East all plant and animal life on and on two adjacent islands was destroyed. The following year, the only living animal reported was a single small spider. In 1886, it was apparent that the pioneer plant stage consisted of a crust of blue-green algae covering the lava. present, as were many A ferns, few mosses were also and a scattering of some 15 species of flowering plants including 4 species of grass. sisted The vegetation stage following the algae con- predominantly of ferns, but the grasses had become dominant over most of the island.

General nature of responses 1 7 The concept of the biotic community is basic to an understanding of ecology. We will here be concerned only with laying a foundation of general prinDetails will ciples. come in later chapters, but for know something about organized, how it functions, proper orientation we must how the and how community it may is be recognized. INTERNAL STRUCTURE AND PROCESSES Communitv and ecosystem A community, or biocenose, is an aggregate of organisms which form a distinct ecological unit.

The to fidelity A is species is exclusive it occurs only in a single area, habitat, or community characteristic (selective, preferential) when it is abundant in one area or community but also ocand ubiquitous curs in small numbers elsewhere (indifferent) when it is found more or less equably distributed in a wide variety of communities. The terms given in parentheses are synonyms used by plant ecologists (Braun-Blanquet 1932). Exclusive species are often rare and of little importance in the dynamics of a community, but when they are con- when ; ; spicuous they often The make is units.

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