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/edu/ - Education

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File: 1690931088778.jpg (89.82 KB, 736x581, ruderallandscape.jpg)


General thread for the discussion of the ecology of disturbed sites with no more direct human oversight. Think overgrown fields,dilapidated parking lots,young forests,abandoned canals and vegetation overtaking urban decay. of course if someone wants to bring up the historical,anthropological and urbanist perspectives that would be cool too(yeah we multidisciplinary in this bitch). I'll probably bump the thread with charts and maybe some common ruderal species near me which might be relevant to some anons.

Here is a more thorough definition from natureserve:

>Ruderal vegetation is defined as "vegetation found on human-disturbed sites, with no apparent recent historical natural analogs, and whose current composition and structure (1) is not a function of continuous cultivation by humans and (2) includes a broadly distinctive characteristic species combination, whether tree, shrub or herb dominated. The vegetation is often comprised of invasive species, whether exotic or native, that have expanded in extent and abundance due to the human disturbances" (Faber-Langendoen et al. 2014). This definition includes both the "ruderal communities" and "invasive communities" of Grossman et al. (1998), but excludes their "modified/managed communities", which are now treated informally as managed variants of natural types.

>These ruderal ecosystems are sometimes referred to as "novel" or "emerging" ecosystems (Hobbs et al. 2006, Belnap et al. 2012). The vegetation is often comprised of invasive species, whether exotic or native, that have expanded in extent and abundance due to human disturbances, whether from abandonment of sites with cultural vegetation (e.g., abandoned farmland, orchards, plantations), or from extensive alteration and degradation of more natural vegetation. In many landscapes, ruderal ecosystems occupy large areas–sometimes more than any other category of communities–and can provide important biodiversity functions.

>For a ruderal type to be defined based on invasive plant species, it must contain a new set of diagnostic species in the region and have essentially removed the diagnostic species of existing native types. That is, invasive species overwhelmingly dominate a stand (e.g., >90% cover), and native diagnostic species are largely to completely absent, or replaced by new, often "weedy" native species. Setting a high threshold minimizes the creation of new types until it is certain that a new characteristic combination of species has been formed. Such is the case for abandoned exotic tree plantations and post agricultural forests in Europe and the U.S.; these exhibit some characteristics of more natural vegetation, but differ from a near-natural analog for at least a full generation of trees, during which time native diagnostic species establish (Ellenberg 1988, Flinn and Marks 2007). The same is true of many secondary tropical forests (Zanini et al. 2014).


>old fields on abandoned farmlands, containing a mix of weedy and exotic grasses, forbs, and shrubs (Wright and Fridley 2010)

>successional tuliptree stands following cropping

>red-cedar pastures

>annual grasslands in sagebrush region (Davies et al. 2021)

>secondary savannas of the West Indies and other tropical areas, with the woody layer often dominated by acacias, mesquite, or palms

>Ruderal ecosystems are generally not priorities for conservation for their own sake, though they may support rare species or function as important landscape connectors or matrices in reserves. In landcover or GAP mapping, these ruderal types are important to map because of their large extent.


File: 1690931769047.jpg (113.41 KB, 640x590, oldfieldsuccession.jpg)

interesting paper from china on patterns and trends of Ruderal plant species richness in Beijing pic unrelated

<the sauce:


some cool excerpts:

>Urban spontaneous vegetation is dominated by closely related species that share functional traits that make them more suited to urban conditions [3]. This study supports this by showing that species from families such as Gramineae and Asteraceae were more numerous than species from other plant families. These families have many traits that make them well suited for urban conditions, such as minor seeds, the ability to germinate immediately, and rapid growth.

>Ruderals in Beijing’s built-up areas do vary in composition among different LUTs. Roadside lawns had lower species richness than other LUT lawns, except for commercial lawns. Lawns in commercial and roadside areas are usually seeded and maintained with non-native grass, so a low percentage of ruderal species was expected. These differences may reflect the effects of “lawn care” such as mowing, irrigating, removal of clippings, and litter accumulation more than environmental and social variables [39]. Lawn composition varies according to age, proximity to seed sources, and the degree of management but will also depend on both natural and managed environmental conditions [39].

>On the whole, the current urban lawn building mode is unsustainable. When the original lawns with single-species composition become degraded as a result of environmental disturbance, lawns are often restored by purchasing and planting new turf. In this way, the original land undergoes continual destruction. Under proper control and guidance, the invasion of ruderals can have a positive effect on the original lawn and play a constructive role in lawn restoration. In such a case, ruderals in urban areas could be the sustainer of lawn landscapes and could provide green coverage and a pleasing view. Therefore, ruderals in urban lawns should not be discarded completely but should be saved and trimmed with the lawn grass to maintain the integrity of the lawn landscape. In addition, the increase in the biodiversity in the grass layer could make the community structure complex enough to resist environmental interference and other invasions.

>To obtain a meaningful protection strategy, we must explore mechanisms for encouraging multiscale, complementary “ruderal-friendly” management of urban lawns. We are currently witnessing ruderal eradication in urban green spaces, such as artificial weeding or weed elimination by chemical herbicides. The cumulative outcome of different management styles is detrimental to the native ruderal species diversity in urban lawns.

>Options for incentivizing turning urban green space into “ruderal-friendly” lawns fall into two categories: (1) top-down regulation and (2) bottom-up personal initiatives. Top-down approaches refer to public education on and the popularization of biodiversity and ecosystem services and government grants for sympathetic management. For ruderal and wildlife conservation purposes, tax incentives and subsidies are an increasingly popular tool. For a bottom-up strategy, the reservation or application of ruderal species in private gardens is important for introducing ruderal species into urban green spaces.


Cool beans. I've heard of pioneer plants which sound awfully similar to this, idk if it's just another name for the same thing or what


yes and no its more of a rectangles and squares deal with many if not all ruderal plants being pioneer species and some pioneer species being pioneer species for non-ruderal ecosystems like sea rocket in coastal dune grasslands or various rock tripes in boulderfields

>common groundsel somewhat unrelated just a very common ruderal species that is def a pioneer species considering how often I see it in concrete areas and dilapidated fields/shrub beds


forgot to @you


They demolished some house nearby and left the plot untouched for like two years and it was so nice, teeming with life and everything, and now they cut it all down and it looks so sad and empty.


NTA but kind of, yes. When I've heard pioneer plants mentioned, it's in regards to recolonisation of an area after a disturbance. In this case, the disturbance would be building or demolition work.

>>20095 is correct in that not all pioneer species are ruderal. For instance, in Britain (which is the only area I really have any knowledge of) Oak trees (Quercus robur & petraea) are now a pioneer species of scrubland and unmaintained fields and moors, but you aren't likely to find them in an urban setting. You will see birches (Betula spp.) though.

Poppies (Papaver spp.) tend to pop up on disturbed sites as well, but a very noticable one is Buddleja (Buddleja spp.). They pop up here all the time.

Excellent thread, OP. I'll have a look next time I go by some ruderal-looking habitats and get some pictures so we can see what's growing there.


thanks anon, the difference in tree species is interesting in my region(midatlantic coast) the big pioneer species of trees are American Sweetgum and Loblolly Pine*

weird question but do you know why britain has such good field guide coverage? you britbongs get crazy niche field guides for your animals I swear. Also Moors from what I've read sound cool af I don't even know if theres anything analogous to them in my region

*In fact the coastal southeast has a type of forest called Ruderal Loblolly Pine- Sweetgum Forest that is quite common in peri-urban and some urban areas. from Natureserve:

>This community type is broadly defined to accommodate mid- to late-successional upland forests strongly codominated by Pinus taeda and Liquidambar styraciflua, resulting from past disturbance (such as agricultural or other land clearing). Understory composition differs based on edaphic site and on age and history. This broadly defined type occupies a variety of edaphic sites, ranging from mesic through dry-mesic sites on a wide variety of (generally acidic) soils. If left unmanaged or undisturbed, this can be a short-lived forest type, which is likely to succeed with greater age into various oak- and oak-pine-dominated forests.



>weird question but do you know why britain has such good field guide coverage?
If I had to guess, I'd say it's because British wildlife has been so incredibly thoroughly studied, and we have far fewer species to talk about. America is very diverse by comparison, so it won't have been studied in nearly as much detail.

>Moors sound cool af I don't even know if theres anything analogous to them in my region

There aren't really any Moors "near" me, either (though near for me is within about 20 miles). There are some in the South, especially in the New Forest area, and obviously Dartmoor and Exmoor. Then there are some in the north too, along with Peat Bogs (which are sometimes referred to as Moors). Do you have any open expanses of grassland near you at all?


It's because the UK is a barren wasteland.


>Do you have any open expanses of grassland near you at all?

well theirs ruderal grasslands in early stages of succession before woody plants takeover that are fairly common within my city. Closest areas of naturally occuring grassland are different types of coastal dune grasslands at beaches. basically what it says on the tin. Coastal dunes that exclude plants expect for specially adapted maritime species that are primarily different grass and forbs. one of my personal fav ecosystems tbh


>4 minutes in
>in depth ecology lecture with enclosure bad tangent

based bideo, sometimes It feels like Ecology and the life sciences in general are the island of left wing thought in stem at least in my personal experience


>It feels like Ecology and the life sciences in general are the island of left wing thought in stem at least in my personal experience
Ecology is a field that fundamentally breaks the STEMlord/neo-platonist/anglobox type of framework of objects as things in themselves manifesting an abstract idea and separated from all context. You literally cannot do ecology with that kind of approach; it's completely impossible. The only way to understand ecology is as systems.


It's not really an in-depth ecology lecture.


you know of any good ones?


I don't really know many, and they would be mostly off topic in this thread. (As that video was too, tbh.)


man this was a good episode, im OP I could care less if people post off topic shit as long as the actual posts are good


One of the first videos I saw from their channel. I like how it dismantles this idea that nature is "out there" rather than nature being literally everywhere and us being a part of it.


I've got some more rudeal species fpr you: Sycamore ((Acer pseudoplatanus) and Brambles (Rubus fruticosus). Spotted some the other day in an abandoned car park.

If we're going a bit off-topic though, it needs to be said how the capitalist mindset has kind of ruined conservation


>>20132 (me)
I would have posted pictures as well, but for some reason I keep getting an error message when I try to post images.


> Tom Wessels: Reading the Forested Landscape
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcLQz-oR6sw
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L81Ihhqe0gY
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEAfFq3gb30
Maybe this is stretching the topic of the thread a bit, but I thought you would be interested. This guy (that I have never heard before but seems popular) demonstrates what he calls "forest forensics". Based on clues he can tell if a section of the forest was used for crops or pasture before; what kind of storm fell a tree, sometimes down to specific notable weather events; signs of logging and fires. It's pretty interesting but unfortunately very location specific too. But maybe it will give you some ideas to apply to your landscapes.

He wrote two books on the topic, unfortunately I could only find this one on libgen.


Not a lecture but another youtuber relevant to this thread that I just found.
This guy is actively disturbing artificial sites to restore native ecology.


that shit looks fire anon, one protip I learned for us coastal southeastern US anons is that pine needles acidify the soil and most native plants have high acidity tolerances. there's one power line right of way next to a windbreak of pines the native graminoid diversity is crazy


Im having a hard time find a neat and tidy list of ruderal species but im positive Ive got a ton in the vicinity. Asteracea and Cirsium are the ones I can name so far
>pine needles acidify the soil
this is an old wives tale, unfortunately. learned it the hard way while trying to grow blueberries


On another unrelated note, there's a book by George F Peterken called Natural Woodland: Ecology and Conservation in Northern Temperate Regions which is absolutely fascinating, and which discusses the eclogy of both secondary and "virgin" woodland (the remnants of the fabled Wildwood, such as they still exist) in Europe and the US. I couldn't find if on Lib gen or Z lib, but I found a book he wrote more recently which looks interesting.
Oliver Rackham was a good writer on British woodland ecology too. I've attached one of his books that I've read.


In part 3, I don't really get why he's concerned with those pasture trees, or whatever they were called, disappearing. They don't occur naturally inside forests.


Maybe we should have a general ecology thread instead of derailing this one.


I mean they're good posts so I don't really care but maybe I'll start an ecology general later today and see if the mods can just merge this thread into it


There's an app for this too called iNaturalist that this channel mentioned. It shows you species indigenous to your area and even has community features to join people in projects to restore indigenous ecosystems.


Does anyone know more stuff like those videos? It's fascinating.


File: 1708133214677.png (199.69 KB, 260x406, Masanobu Fukuoka.PNG)

How the fuck hasn't anyone even mentioned Masanobu Fukuoka on this thread yet?
He's like the centrepiece of this study.


Who is that?


I found this book, "How to Read a Tree", it's by a guy interested in natural navigation but it's not limited to navigation, it has lots of stuff about how a trees environment, history and health are reflected in its shape and parts.

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