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After the disaster in 2012, everything except for what was on the boat, was completely demolished. For ten weeks, we all stayed on the barge, until, from many miles away, we saw the highest point that we could anchor and start a new life.
Upon arrival, we realized that we had ended up in Africa. The only thing here was rock and sand. So, we decided to get to work dissembling the ship to make houses.
At this point, the land is in the first stage of primary succession, where the only thing left was bare ground.
As we began to finish building about two years later, plants like mosses and lichens began to come back.
After many, many years, grasses grew back and they became enough to support the population of mice that had previously inhabited the decks of the ship. This in turn allowed the cats people had brought to multiply.
Mice are an R species, meaning they multiple quickly and with great numbers, but they have short lifespans. Cats are K species, meaning they have a long lifespan with steady reproduction rates.
The increase of mice brought seabirds to the area because we were still surrounded by water and were the only known source of dry land. However, these seabirds brought Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii bacteria with them, which cause Cryptococcosis. Luckily, we had amphotericin B on the boat, which wiped out the bacteria.
The bacteria brought by the birds were invasive species, however they were eradicated by humans.
About ten years later, we finally were able to stop living off of freeze-dried meals and established an agriculture system. Although the birds initially brought disease-causing bacteria with them, they turned out to be a helpful addition. As the crops were growing, the birds ate the pests off of them, which help them to grow.
The birds and crops were engaged in a symbiotic relationship known as mutualism. This is because, in this relationship, both the birds and the crops benefit. The crops get to grow pest-free while the bird gets food.
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