STAGES OF BIOGEOMORPHIC EFFECTS
The biogeomorphic impacts of organisms may differ at different stages in the development of landforms, ecosystems, or the individual organisms. I was thinking about this recently here along the shoreline bluffs of the Neuse River estuary, North Carolina, where I have been both looking at some soil profiles and enjoying the coastline.
There are at least five distinctly different biogeomorphic roles trees play along this shoreline--many more if you wanted to get more specific within these categories. The specifics are probably of only limited applicability elsewhere, but the general principle--multiple effects, which vary at different stages of both landform and vegetation development--is widely valid.
Trees and other vegetation grow thick and fast in this moist subtropical climate.
Stage 1A Surface Bioprotection
Trees (including canopy, roots, and litter) protect the ground surface from erosion and add organic matter to soil.