AskDefine | Define ruderal

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. any plant growing in rubbish or very poor soil


  1. That grows in rubbish or poor soil


Extensive Definition

A ruderal species is a plant species that is first to colonise disturbed lands. The disturbance may be natural (e.g., wildfires or avalanches), or due to human influence - constructional (e.g., road construction, building construction or mining), or agricultural (e.g., abandoned farming fields or abandoned irrigation ditches).
Ruderal species typically dominate the disturbed area for a few years, gradually losing the competition to other native species. However, in extreme disturbance circumstances, such as when the natural topsoil is covered with a foreign substance, a single-species ruderal community may become permanently established, as depicted in the image on the right. In addition, some ruderal invasive species may have such a competitive advantage over the natural species that they, too, may permanently prevent a disturbed area from returning to its original state despite natural topsoil.


Features contributing to a species success as ruderal are:
ruderal in Bavarian: Gstettn
ruderal in German: Ruderalflora
ruderal in Polish: Roślina ruderalna
ruderal in Russian: Рудеральные растения
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