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Catastrophic Eruption In Making Sense Of Mount St. Helens By Steve Nash

785 words - 4 pages

Article Summary of Mount St. Helens
In the article Making Sense of Mount St. Helens by Steve Nash, the author discusses the huge, catastrophic eruption in 1980, the environmental impact of the eruption, biological legacies, how the eruption helps better understand the process of succession, and the resurgence of scientific research at Mount St. Helens. Nash talks about the restrained locution of ecology, and what occurred in 1980 was not just a "disturbance." It instantly altered the still Fuji-form symmetry volcanic look, with lush forests, meadows, and clear, snow-fed lakes extending north around a huge, deep side-blown crater (Nash, 2010). The eruption's first phase was the largest ...view middle of the document...

By examining surviving population such as newly developing plant colonies, researchers could gain great insight on biological change that can be used to ”make sensible suggestions for management” of natural disaster legacies (Nash 2010).
The author explained that dead or living remnants of the prior ecosystem are called "biological legacies," such as a stick, a root, an animal left alive under earth and snow, a patch of soil, or a flattened forest. When a disturbance of this size resets natural history to something near zero, the legacies are thought by some to be more important than the disturbance itself in determining what happens next (Nash, 2010). Statistical analyses found that environmental factors such as soils, temperatures, moisture, and elevation did not predict much at all, especially in the early years after the disturbance. Instead, chance dominated, which seeds might have been blown in, what species were nearby, and the "biological legacy" features that survived the disturbance.
Mount St. Helens research is now a source of data for those who must cope with the aftermath of both natural and human-caused disturbances (Nash, 2010). About 50 projects are currently active, it is "a tremendous resurgence. One would have to characterize research at Mount St. Helens as vibrant." The eruption in 1980 resulted in "a grand experiment that you could never have...

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