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Ecological Succession

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Rhina Llanto

on 2 October 2012

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Transcript of Ecological Succession

Ecological Succession the process by which the structure of a biological community evolves over time Primary
Succession Secondary
Succession occurs in essentially lifeless areas—regions in which the soil is incapable of sustaining life as a result of such factors as lava flows, newly formed sand dunes, or rocks left from a retreating glacier occurs in areas where a community that previously existed has been removed disturbances that do not eliminate all life and nutrients from the environment. Pioneer Community first species that colonize places where previously there were no living beings, like, for example, algae that colonize bare rocks. In general, pioneer species are autotrophs or those that maintain harmonious ecological interaction with autotrophic beings Climax Community The pioneer community is formed of species able to survive under hostile environments. The presence of these species modifies the microenvironment generating changes in abiotic and biotic factors of the ecosystem undergoing formation. Therefore they open the way to other species to establish in the place by the creation of new potential ecological niches. mature, stable community that is the final stage of ecological succession. In an ecosystem with a climax community, the conditions continue to be suitable for all the members of the community. Any particular region has its own set of climax species, which are the plants that are best adapted for the area and will persist after succession has finished, until another disturbance clears the area. Threats The grasses that move in as pioneer species are often thought of as weeds. The subsequent growth of shrubs are considered undesirable "brush". For example, in temperate forests, if the shrubs are not allowed to grow, insect pests begin to feed on young trees instead. This has happened in many places where trees are replanted after an area is clear-cut. Large quantities of pesticides are then brought in, polluting the soil and water and altering the natural ecosystem even further. How Do Humans Affect Ecological Succession? Clearing the land for the garden and preparing the soil for planting represents a major external event that radically re-structures and disrupts a previously stabilized ecosystem. The disturbed ecosystem will immediately begin a process of ecological succession. Plant species that adapt to the sunny conditions and the broken soil will rapidly invade the site and will become quickly and densely established. These invading plants are what we call "weeds“ in which we consider a nuisance or invaders. A gardener's only course of action is to spend a great deal of time and energy weeding the garden or using chemicals to infringe upon the weeds and the ecosystem around it. The farmers and gardeners who are growing our foods incur an immense cost in terms of time, fuel, herbicides and pesticides that humans pay every growing season because of the force of ecological succession. http://www.psu.edu/dept/nkbiology/naturetrail/succession.htm http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/178264/ecological-succession http://www.biology-questions-and-answers.com/ecological-succession.html Thank you! Rhina A. Llanto
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