StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Ecosystem Succession - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Ecosystem Succession

The Classical model of ecological succession shows that the "structural complexity and organization of an ecosystem increase and mature over time as succession progresses." The natural cycle of progression according to this model is shown below.
The model above shows the natural cycle of progression of an ecosystem. The early successional stage is characterized by a few "pioneer species" and net community production is greater than respiration. The next mature stage shows an increase in species diversity, biomass, nutrients, food chains, and net production is equal to respiration. The succession slows down when it reaches equilibrium at the level of "climax" community.
"Autogenic Succession is self-driven, resulting from the interaction between organisms and their environment." There are two types of autogenic succession. Primary Succession occurs on virgin or newly formed substrates, such as lava flows, alluvial deposits, newly exposed rock faces and glacial moraines. (Mackenzie, Ball and Virdee 2001) the Glacier Bay and Krakatau sequences are examples of Primary Succession. "Secondary succession occurs on disturbed ground where vegetation cover has been disturbed by external environmental factors like humans, animals or by fire, wind, floods.
Succession from bare moraine to mature coniferous forest has been shown in areas left bare by the retreating ice in Glacier Bay, South East Alaska. This is a prime example of primary succession. Current estimates have shown that it takes 250 years for mature forest to develop from bare moraine. (Packam, Harding, Hilton, Stuttard 1992)
The process involves colonization of the nutrient poor clay by mosses and shallow-rooted herbaceous species like mountain avens (Dryas sp.). These early species alter the soil conditions facilitating the colonization by new species. Nitrogen fixation is a free process in succession. Litter accumulation helps in soil development, which aids colonization by shrub and eventually tree species like Cottonwood and Hemlock. Marble is present in the area and the soil parent material shows a pH of 8.0 - 8.4. The development of Sitka Alder has a strong acidifying effect leading to a fall in pH from 8.0 to 5.0 approximately within 30-50 years. Alder nodules also fix atmospheric nitrogen, and the increase in nitrogen values of the soil is crucial to the initial establishment of Sitka Spruce. The Spruce eventually displaces the Alder, and it leads to a mature Sitka Spruce-Hemlock forest. In another 1250 years, the mature forest changes to Sphagnum-dominated muskeg bog in suitable sites.
Krakatau
Another example of Primary Succession is the Krakatau group, which lies over an orogenic hot spot in between Java and Sumatra. After the explosion in 1883, the present successional sequence was started on Rakata, and the smaller islands of Rakata Kecil and Sertung. Here volcanic ash sterilized the whole area. But the successional sequence, which started with a few blades of grass on Rakata in 1884, has led to a lush tropical forest over the century. The pioneer species included ...Show more

Summary

Ecological succession is defined as a continuous, unidirectional, sequential change in the species composition of a natural community." (Mackenzie, Ball and Virdee 2001) This sequence is known as a "sere" and it ends in climax community. Let us take an example of an old field, which has been abandoned…
Author : twalker
Ecosystem Succession essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Ecosystem Succession"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Ecosystem Components
Abiotic components comprise of chemical and physical things present in an environment. Biotic components comprise of the living things, for instance; plants and animals. Joshua Tree National Park is an example of a natural ecosystem that supports the existence of a variety of rare trees, as the name suggests, and a variety of wildlife.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Succession Planning
Organisational survival and growth are the most important responsibilities of top management of all organisations. Consequently, planning management succession becomes prime requirement to ensure right number and right kind of management staff at the right time and in right positions for continued organisational vitality and strength.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
The Law Of Succession
Under the English common law, realty being owned 'legally'- principally via a 'joint tenancy,' or as an equitable interest, say via a trust - realty owners tend to make wills for the distribution of their wealth and assets in the event of their death. However, in cases where the deceased dies intestate, that is to say, if he/she fails to make a valid will before his or her death, the rules of intestacy applies.2 Legal researchers in the UK have observed that almost 60-65 per cent of deceased persons do not make or leave a valid will.3 In deciding the division of deceased's property in these cases, the Parliament has set out the rules of intestacy, that is to say the Parliament makes a will o
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Ecosystem Succession Paper
Organisms such as mosses and ferns will first appear on that bare rock. After awhile, larger organisms, such as shrubs and trees, begin to grow. 2a. In figure 4-5, what is taking place is known as secondary succession. Secondary succession is the series of changes that
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Succession planning
Motorola Company is based in the United States of America. It is a company, which deals mainly in electronic and wireless communication. Among the initiatives the company uses is succession planning. With the aim to speed up women and minority
3 pages (750 words) Essay
The American Beaver as a keystone species and there effect on the north american ecosystem
It is dominant in the North American areas but it has been introduced in other parts of the world. This species is believed to have a very great impact to the balance of the ecosystem
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Ecosystem services
The United Nations has grouped the ecosystem services in four categories which include; provisioning, which is the production of water and food, cultural which are the recreational and spiritual benefits, supporting which include crop pollination and nutrient cycles
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Ecosystem services
Ecosystem services, therefore, refers to the processes by which the environment avails the resources exploited by human beings either for direct consumption (such as air and water) or for the production of goods and services used by man (Wilson 307). The
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Ecosystem Destruction
This level of industrialization and development is of course compounded by the fact that humanity itself has no natural occurring
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Ecosystem Service
When it comes to the action of human societies it is clearly visible that the human beings are ignorantly reacting to the nature. The main aspect is the way in which they pollute the natural resources with no second thoughts. However a small percentage of humans in the form of scientists, corporate bodies and social activists work towards protection of ecosystem services.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation