In plant terminology, a ruderal is a plant which has the strategy of growing quickly when resources are available, then dying after producing many seeds. These are opportunistic plants, many of which are weeds. They are also the plants which may become invasive if introduced to the wrong area. Although many are noxious weeds, many wildflowers are also in this catergory. Most ruderals are annuals which die after the growing season, but some shrubs, like tamarisk, and trees, such as cottonwood and eucalyptus, also share this strategy.

Ruderals gain the advantage in disturbed areas, nutrient-rich areas, and other areas with little competition. They are usually outcompeted by other plants and eventually replaced, in a process called succession.

Other survival strategies used by plants are Competitive and Stress-Tolerant

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