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Ecological Succession

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Stacey Cauley

on 4 January 2016

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Transcript of Ecological Succession

Ecological Succession
Pioneer Community
First new plant species to begin growth

Do not need soil to survive

Examples: lichens, beach grass
What am I?
Slow, gradual replacement of a community
Begins with bare rock
(NO soil present!!!)
Starts with the arrival of a pioneer community
Primary Succession

Pioneer organisms of primary succession
Collect water and nutrients from the air (so they don't need soil to grow!)
Glacier retreat
Stages of
Primary Succession
Secondary Succession
Steady replacement of a previous community
Begins where soil remains
No need for pioneer species
Much faster rate than primary succession
Examples: Forest Fire
(man made or natural)
Can you think of any other disturbances that could start secondary succession?
Secondary Succession Stages
Succession begins...
break down the rocks into smaller pieces
As lichens die, they decompose, adding small amounts of organic matter to the rock to make soil
Succession continues...
Simple plants like
mosses and ferns
can grow in the new soil
The simple plants die, adding more organic material and nutrients
The soil layer thickens, then
grasses, wildflowers, and other plants
begin to take over
Succession continues....
Succession continues on.....
These plants dies and decompose and add more nutrients to the soil
Shrubs and small trees
can now survive
And finally...
Climax Community
A mature, diverse group of plants and animals colonizing an area
Stable climax communities are the final end result of the succession process
Example: Biodiversity
(variety of species)
Insects, birds, and mammals finally begin to move in
What was once bare rock now supports a variety of life!
What DOES the fox say???
Hardwood trees like oaks, maples, and birch
Cacti in deserts
Tall grasses in prairies
Primary Succession
Secondary Succession
Can you guess what these pictures are?
Sandstone erosion in Nevada
Tornado destroying a house
Moss and Lichen on tree bark
Focus =
Secondary Succession
Pioneer Community
Primary Succession
Climax Community
A series of changes in a community where new populations replace previously existing ones

Causes: natural or human disturbances
General Trends
Increase in biomass
Longer-living species
Increased biodiversity
Full transcript