General Ecology

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Successional Status

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More info for the terms: eruption, presence, succession

Broadleaf lupine was a common colonizing species on many of the primary successional habitats after the eruption of Mount St. Helens [18,21,28,40,77]. On debris avalanche sites at Mount St. Helens, broadleaf lupine altered local soil moisture conditions by shading, and altered soil nutrient status by nitrogen fixation [24].

There was an abundance of broadleaf lupine on a pioneer community dominated by red alder (Alnus rubra) and Sitka willow (Salix sitchensis) on Bald Mountain, Vancouver Island, British Columbia [23]. In Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, broadleaf lupine is associated with young and developing communities but is most characteristic of the "best developed" and "most mature" meadow communities [44]. Broadleaf lupine is a dominant species in both early seral and old-growth stands of Olympic National Forest [43].

The rapid development of an extensive lateral root system should allow broadleaf lupine to exploit resources effectively and thus succeed in competing for water, light, and space later in succession. The presence of broadleaf lupine plants in canopy gaps of old-growth forests of coast Douglas-fir, mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana), and western redcedar (Thuja plicata) confirms its ability to succeed in a strongly competitive environment [3].


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