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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.

SOURCE: 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.

Communities are composed of species populations … connected by a web of interspecific relationships that have evolved over thousands or millions of years. If entire communities or all the species except for a few minor ones migrate, these community interactions may be preserved. In the highly disturbed



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