Changes in communities ecological succession
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Changes in Communities: Ecological Succession PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Changes in Communities: Ecological Succession. Ecological Succession. The natural, gradual changes in the types of species that live in a particular area The gradual replacement of one plant community by another through natural processes over time. Primary Succession.

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Changes in Communities: Ecological Succession

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Changes in Communities:Ecological Succession


Ecological Succession

  • The natural, gradual changes in the types of species that live in a particular area

  • The gradual replacement of one plant community by another through natural processes over time


Primary Succession

  • Begins in a place without any soil

    • Sides of volcanoes

    • Landslides

    • Flooding

  • Starts with the arrival of organisms that do not need soil to survive, such as lichens.

  • Called PIONEER SPECIES


Primary Succession

  • Soil starts to form as lichens and the forces of weather and erosion help break down rocks into smaller pieces

  • When lichens die, they decompose, adding small amounts of organic matter to the rock to make soil


Primary Succession

  • Simple plants like mosses and ferns can grow in the new soil


Primary Succession

  • The simple plants die, adding more organic material

  • The soil layer thickens, and grasses, wildflowers, and other plants begin to take over


Primary Succession

  • These plants die and they add more nutrients to the soil

  • Shrubs and trees can now survive


Primary Succession

  • Insects, small birds, and mammals have begun to move in

  • What was once bare rock now supports a variety of life


Secondary Succession

  • Begins in a place that already has soil and was once the home of living organisms

  • Occurs faster and has different pioneer species than primary succession

  • Example: after forest fires


Secondary Succession

On Abandoned Farmland


Two Types of SuccessionFrom http://www.geowords.org/ensci/imagesbook/04_03_succession.swf


Climax Community

  • A stable group of plants and animals that is the end result of the successionprocess

  • Does not always mean big trees

    • Grasses in prairies

    • Cacti in deserts


Invasive Species

Defined as a species that is:

  • non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration.

  • whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

  • Invasive species can be plants, animals, and other organisms (e.g., microbes).

  • Human actions are the primary means of invasive species introductions.


  • Eastern Red Cedar:An Invasive Species

    • Eastern Red Cedar invasions create a forest canopy which out-competes native vegetation for sunlight and water.

    • The resulting bare soils and increased erosion severely impact native plants and animals.

    • How are humans responsible?


    A Local Example

    Southeast corner of 135th & Quivira


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