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Ecological Succession

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by

Jeffrey Mann

on 11 August 2014

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Transcript of Ecological Succession

Ecological Succession
Succession is the gradual change in populations of organisms that happens when the environment changes.
All
succession
means is that the
development
of an ecosystem happens
gradually
in
stages
from bare rock to fully formed forests!
OR
How things go from this:
to this:
These guys really get it!
Got it!
Now lets look at how this works:
bare rock
lichens and moss
grasses & small plants
young forest
climax forest
It works like this:
But wait there is more!
There are two kinds of ecological Succession:
Primary Succession
&
Secondary Succession
Primary succession
happens when you start from bare rock and need to
build soil
.
Secondary succession
happens after an
environmental disturbance
like a forest fire, volcanic eruption, or human deforestation.

In these cases succession takes place but the
soil already exists
so you can get started with grasses and shrubs.
Soil takes a long time to make, so
secondary succession
is usually
much faster
!
Here is how it works!
climax forest
young forest
fast growing trees and shrubs
grasses & small plants
No plants, few animals (maybe)
& occasional birds
Lichens and moss break down the rocks and create soil and release nutrients. When they die, they create more soil!
Pioneer Species
Grasses and small plants can grow quickly on very little soil, so as they grow and die each season, they make a lot of soil!
Young forests are made of quickly growing trees that move in when there is enough soil to support their shallow roots. Pine trees, paper birch, and poplar great young forest trees because they can take a lot of sunlight and grow very quickly!
The climax forest is the last stage in ecological succession, because it is the final and most stable stage. Old slow growing trees dominate the system and below the canopy are smaller shade tolerant species.
After a "disturbance"
like a forest fire
All the plants are destroyed.
But ...
the soil remains
The process starts at a different place because there is already soil
Pioneer Species
Limiting Factor
A necessary ingredient that controls an activity through its availability.
Water
Sunlight
Nutrients
Air
Soil
I would like to make
chocolate chip cookies.
I have:
4
6
10
7
I need:
3
2
2
2
Can I make
TWO
batches?
Why not?
Limiting factor is eggs!
Can I make the cookies?
Full transcript