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.

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Changes in Communities: Ecological Succession

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Changes in communities ecological succession

Changes in Communities:Ecological Succession


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

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 succession1

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 succession2

Primary Succession

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


Primary succession3

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 succession4

Primary Succession

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

  • Shrubs and trees can now survive


Primary succession5

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

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


Changes in communities ecological succession

Secondary Succession

On Abandoned Farmland


Two types of succession from http www geowords org ensci imagesbook 04 03 succession swf

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


Climax community

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

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: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

    A Local Example

    Southeast corner of 135th & Quivira


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