I compiled information on Pioneer Species and Succession a few years ago, and I posted it in a series of articles:
- What is Succession?
- Using Succession in Permaculture
- Managing Pseudo-Primary Succession
- Pioneer Species for a Temperate Climate
A friend (Jake) suggested I make an infographic. That thought was in my mind for the last few years, and I finally took the time to do it.
For a quick review:
Pioneer species are plants, often considered weeds, which nature uses to transition from bare soil to a climax forest. They cover the soil quickly and reduce erosion. They often have deep taproots that pull nutrients from the depths. They can thrive in drought, full-sun, and bare soil conditions, and they pave the way for slower growing plants that need more moisture. The first pioneer plants are annuals and herbaceous perennials. Eventually shrubs and then trees appear. Pioneer species can be all of these types of plants, but the larger shrubs and trees often take many years to appear.
By using pioneer species with modern forest garden, agroforestry, and permaculture techniques, we can speed up the natural succession process to develop (or redevelop) sustainable and regenerative ecosystems for wildlife, agricultural, or personal use.
This infographic provides key information on growing conditions, attributes, and edible parts of many important pioneer species.
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