Sunday, September 23, 2012
The San Salvador Volcano "Quetzaltepec" produced the eruption known as "El Playon" around 1658, which destroyed the town of Nexapa (later relocated & renamed Nejapa). The picture above is an example of primary succession - the plants that colonized these hardened lava flows have to make do without any soil! These early pioneer species will eventually prepare a soil matrix that will give way to other successional communities that can't thrive on bare rock - but the process is slooow, the flow picture above is just 354 yr old. Here's a cool paper on successional "facilitation": Callaway 1995.