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FIGURE 33.1 Growth, thinning by competition, and
death of a tract of forest is a cycle.
NOTE: The stage
of Death/Regeneration is the ''most stochastic" or most uncertain
stage. It could lead
to "alternate composition" of the forest, that is, a succeeding
and different species mix.
Reprinted, by permission, from Shugart et al. (1986). Copyright
© 1986 by SCOPE.
storm, or pest. With the death of the persistent trees, the
forest would then adjust more rapidly.
Other forces will likely affect the natural system on the tract
and its adjustment to climate. People may clear, plant, manage, or
abandon the tract; storms could uproot the trees; or fires might
blacken the landscape. Their impacts may obscure or modify those of
climate change. Or, as explained above, they may hasten the
adjustment of the forest to the new climate.
An alternative to thinking of the adjustments on a given tract
of land is thinking of the migration of an ecosystem or community
from tract to tract in response to climate changes.