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A term that is applied to a community of native plants and animals. ‘Future-natural’ describes the community that would develop were human influences to be removed completely and permanently, but allows for possible changes in climate or site. ‘Original-natural’ describes a commun-ity as it existed in the past, with no modification by humans. ‘Past-natural’ describes the condition in which the present features are derived directly from those existing originally, with relatively little modification by humans. ‘Potential-natural’ describes the community that would develop were human influence removed, but the consequent succession completed instantly (future changes in climate or site are not taken into account). ‘Present-natural’ describes the community that would exist now had there been no human modification. Because of the dynamic nature of any ecosystem, this condition may not be identical to the last original-natural state before human intervention began.

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