The symposium "Ecological Recovery After the 1980 Eruptions of Mount St. Helens" will reveal how the surrounding landscape, including forests, soils, steams, lakes, fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals have fared in the ensuing two decades.
"The eruption highlights the importance of factors such as chance events, life history characteristics, and timing and confirms the surprising resilience of nature," says symposia organizer Virginia Dale (Oak Ridge National Laboratory).
Dale will kick off the session with her presentation "Is succession successful? Synthesis and management implications of ecological recovery at Mount St. Helens." She will provide an overview of survival, colonization, and community development among the six disturbance zones the eruption generated: pyroclastic flows, debris avalanche, mudflows, blown-down trees, scorched vegetation, and ash deposition.
Frederick Swanson (US Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station) will focus on the most intense aspects of the eruption, such as landslides and 800 degree Celsius heat of pyroclastic flows and the ways in which they altered the landscape. His talk "Geological and ecological settings of Mount St. Helens before and after May 18, 1980" will describe the link between the reshaped geophysical landscape and the plants and animals living on it.
The session will also delve under the surface in "Life in the changing belowground during succession on Mount St. Helens," which will be presented by Michael Allen (University of California-Riverside). Allen will highlight the dynamic interactions between plants, fungi, and animals as they collectively d
Contact: Annie Drinkard
Ecological Society of America