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Ecological Succession

What is Ecological Succession?

Ecological succession is the process of change and development of the species structure of an ecological community over time. This change is predictable and systematic and time period for the change may be few years to millions of years. Change in species structure means that some species may become abundant and some others may become less abundant or even vanish from the ecosystem. It is also possible that some new species from adjacent ecosystem invade into the community.

Types of Succession

(i) Primary succession which is initiated in a new area which had never supported any ecological community before.

(ii) Secondary succession is a series of community changes which occur in a damaged or destructed habitat which was previously colonized.

(iii) Cyclic or seasonal succession occurs instead of resulting by a disastrous event but by cyclic changes in the environment or interactions between the species in a community that is one species replacing the other over time .

Why it Occurs?

It may occur due to sudden disastrous events such as volcanoes, earthquake or wildfire etc. Human activities like agriculture can also alter the environmental conditions. The rise and decline of various species in our community illustrates examples of succession.

How it Occurs?

Succession starts with few pioneer species of plants and animals which develops and becomes complex over time until it becomes stable as a climax community. There may be one or more intermediate communities until climax community develops, these communities are called seral communities.


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