Dominance - Synthetic Characters
It is a characteristic of vegetation which expresses the predominating influences of one or more species in a stand so that the population of other species is more or less repressed, or is reduced in number and vitality. Dominants are those species which are highly successful in a particular habitat. Cover and population density are the chief qualities determining dominance, but parameters like frequency, height, life form and vitality are also important.
The dominants exercise a controlling influence in the habitat while modifying the microhabitat which permits the growth of many different species which otherwise cannot survive in the absence of dominants. Let us consider an example, a dominant species occurring in pastures, say Cynodon dactylon. It owes its success to excellent vitality, rapid multiplication and growth, possessing deep penetrating root system. All these features make it a dominant species in many grasslands.