Approximate Elapsed Time: 20 years (630 million seconds)
After destruction by fire, a forest in Montana is reborn. Growth is slow at first. The plants are small and almost shy, but then exuberant. This film shows the progress of regrowth, and the succession from one kind of plant to the next. The first plants to grow, often known as pioneer plants, are hardy and can grow under harsh conditions. They set the stage for other plants by providing shade, gathering moisture, and converting rough materials into nutrients. Soon new type of plants, shrubs and brush, take over and crowd out the pioneers. They grow quickly and cover the ground so that the early plants lose their source of light. However, these plants will also lose in the end. As the clip shows, young trees push through the brush. In a decade these trees will prevent nearly all of the sun's light from reaching the forest floor.
How This Clip Was Made:
This time lapse animation was created from a series of still photographs taken of a forest after a fire. The images were scanned into a computer and aligned. The zoom back was created in a video special effects software program. The animation speeds up the action to more than 100,000,000 times normal speed. Images provided by: Peter Stickney. Production: Peter Stickney. Post-Production: Todd Reamon.