Opinions on Pioneer species

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Pioneer species are hardy species which are the first to colonize previously disrupted or damaged ecosystems, beginning a chain of ecological succession that ultimately leads to a more biodiverse steady-state ecosystem. Some lichens grow on rocks without soil, so may be among the first of life forms, and break down the rock into soil for other plants. 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 nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and leaves that employ transpiration. Pioneer species will die creating plant litter, and break down as "leaf mold" after some time, making new soil for secondary succession (see below), and nutrients for small fish and aquatic plants in adjacent bodies of water.


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Thanks to this graph, we can see the interest Pioneer species has and the evolution of its popularity.

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