Primary succession on volcanic lava

nitrogen; vegetation was absent except for a few small alder trees (Alnus sieboldiana). In the older plots, 113 taxa were recorded, including ferns, herbaceous perennials, lianas and trees. Of most significance in this primary succession were: (i) the successful colonization of the bare lava by the nitrogen-fixing alder; (ii) the facilitation (through improved nitrogen availability) of mid-successional Prunus speciosa and the late successional evergreen tree Machilus thunbergii; (iii) the formation of a mixed forest and the shading out of Alnus and Prunus; and (iv) finally, the replacement of Machilus by the longer lived Castanopsis sieboldii (Figure 16.9b).

facilitation: early successional species on volcanic lava pave the way for later ones

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