Ecological Responses to the 1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens

  • Virginia H. Dale
  • Frederick J. Swanson
  • Charles M. Crisafulli

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Introduction

    1. Frederick J. Swanson, Charles M. Crisafulli, David K. Yamaguchi
      Pages 13-26
  3. Survival and Establishment of Plant Communities

    1. Joseph A. Antos, Donald B. Zobel
      Pages 47-58
    2. Virginia H. Dale, Daniel R. Campbell, Wendy M. Adams, Charles M. Crisafulli, Virginia I. Dains, Peter M. Frenzen et al.
      Pages 59-73
    3. Peter M. Frenzen, Keith S. Hadley, Jon J. Major, Marc H. Weber, Jerry F. Franklin, Jasper H. Hardison III et al.
      Pages 75-91
    4. Roger del Moral, David M. Wood, Jonathan H. Titus
      Pages 93-109
  4. Survival and Establishment of Animal Communities

    1. Robert R. Parmenter, Charles M. Crisafulli, Nicole C. Korbe, Gary L. Parsons, Melissa J. Kreutzian, James A. MacMahon
      Pages 139-150
    2. John G. Bishop, William F. Fagan, John D. Schade, Charles M. Crisafulli
      Pages 151-161
    3. Peter A. Bisson, Charles M. Crisafulli, Brian R. Fransen, Robert E. Lucas, Charles P. Hawkins
      Pages 163-181
    4. Charles M. Crisafulli, Louise S. Trippe, Charles P. Hawkins, James A. MacMahon
      Pages 183-197
    5. Charles M. Crisafulli, James A. MacMahon, Robert R. Parmenter
      Pages 199-218
  5. Responses of Ecosystem Processes

    1. Michael F. Allen, Charles M. Crisafulli, Sherri J. Morris, Louise M. Egerton-Warburton, James A. MacMahon, James M. Trappe
      Pages 221-231
    2. Jonathan J. Halvorson, Jeffrey L. Smith, Ann C. Kennedy
      Pages 243-254
    3. Clifford N. Dahm, Douglas W. Larson, Richard R. Petersen, Robert C. Wissmar
      Pages 255-274
  6. Lessons Learned

    1. Virginia H. Dale, Frederick J. Swanson, Charles M. Crisafulli
      Pages 277-286
    2. Charles M. Crisafulli, Frederick J. Swanson, Virginia H. Dale
      Pages 287-299
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 301-342

About this book


The eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, had a momentous impact on the fungal, plant, animal, and human life from the mountain to the far reaches of the explosion's ash cloud and mudflows. Although this intense natural event caused loss of substantial life and property, it also created a unique opportunity to examine a huge disturbance of natural systems and their subsequent responses. Based on one of the most studied areas of volcanic activity, this book synthesizes the ecological research that has been conducted for twenty-five years since the eruption.

Research from geology as well as plant and animal ecology has been integrated in this unprecedented look at the complex interactions of biological and physical systems in the response of the volcanic landscape. Lessons from the volcano inform our larger understanding of ecosystem disturbances, natural processes, and the impact of land-use practices. Included are results of significant and long-term research on vegetation, mycorrhizae, plant and animal interactions, arthropods, amphibians, mammals, fish, lakes, nutrient cycling, geomorphology, and environmental management. This comprehensive account will be of value to those interested in natural history, ecology, disturbance, conservation biology, limnology, geoscience, and land management. Questions about what actually happens when a volcano erupts, what the immediate and long-term dangers are, and how life reasserts itself in the environment are discussed in full detail.

Virginia Dale is a Corporate Fellow in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee.

Fred Swanson is a Research Geologist at the USDA Forest Service Pacific NW Research Station in Corvallis, OR.

Charles Crisafulli is an Ecologist at the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station in Olympia, WA.


Conservation biology Fauna Mount St. Helens Vegetation disturbance ecological recovery ecology ecosystem processes environment environmental management geomorphology natural disaster nutrient cycling succession volcano

Editors and affiliations

  • Virginia H. Dale
    • 1
  • Frederick J. Swanson
    • 2
  • Charles M. Crisafulli
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental Sciences DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  2. 2.USDA Forest Service PNW Research StationForestry Sciences LaboratoryCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.USDA Forest Service PNW Research StationOlympia Forestry Sciences LaboratoryAmboyUSA

Bibliographic information