Ecological Succession

Ecological Succession is the progressive series of changes that leads to an establishment of a relatively stable climax community.
  • It is characterized by increased productivity, the shift of nutrients from the reservoirs, increased diversity of organisms with increased niche development and a gradual increase in the complexity of food webs.
Ecological Succession is of 2 types:
  • Succession which starts in areas where no living organisms ever existed is called primary succession.
  • Examples of areas where primary succession occurs are newly cooled lava, bare rock, newly created pond or reservoir etc.
  • The species that invade a bare area are called pioneer species.
  • The establishment of a new biotic community is generally slow as it takes natural processes several hundred to several thousand years to produce fertile soil on bare rock.
  • Secondary succession begins in areas where natural biotic communities have been completely or partially destroyed such as in abandoned farm lands, burned or cut forests, lands that have been flooded.
  • Since some soil or sediment is present, secondary succession is faster than primary succession.
  • Succession would occur faster in area existing in the middle of the large continent. This is because, here all propagules or seeds of plants belonging to the different series would reach much faster, establish and ultimately result in climax community.

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