This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Ecosystem Succession Essay

1038 words - 4 pages

Ecosystem succession is the process by which life is yielded to an otherwise lifeless region or area. The time involved in ecological succession is on the scale of tens, hundreds, or thousands of years, not the millions of years involved in the evolutionary time scale. Like many other natural processes, ecosystem succession is a difficult phenomenon to grasp. One reason is that it happens so gradually. It may take as long as 1,000 years for succession to transform an ecosystem from the first or pioneering stage to the final or climax steady state. Over this time, plant and animal communities compete for resources in a tug-of-war. One species replaces another slowly through overlapping and transitional stages. Without disturbance, an ecological system will move toward steady-state conditions in which all species exist in balance, competing for the same resources--light, nutrients, and water.There are 2 types of succession; primary and secondary. Primary succession is the colonization of an area which has not supported an ecosystem before. Secondary succession is ecological succession in a previously inhabited environment that was exposed to some type of disturbance; soil is already present.Ecosystem SuccessionEverything lives and dies for a reason, even if that reason is to feed the next organism that comes along. Small plants and bacteria flock to areas where little or no nutrients exist. They do this for mainly two reasons; first, they have a need of little or no nutrients to survive, and secondly, there are few, if any, predators in these areas in which to feed off the small plants and bacteria.As these organisms die out, their remains mineralize the soil of the area that was previously malnourished. The nutrition can then be used by slightly larger, more nutrient dependant plant life. This progression repeats itself until the area is rich enough in minerals to support the largest of plant life.Naturally, as the abiotic life flourishes, at the same time, so does biotic organisms that feed from the abiotic material. Larger plants bring insects and eventually larger animals that feed from the insects, and of course, even larger animals that feed from the smaller ones.Pictorial DataFigure 5-4 on page 87 of the Environment textbook, illustrates primary succession by way of photographs taken in multiple areas of Glacier Bay in Alaska. The photos were taken from different areas because succession is an extremely slow process; taking hundreds and sometimes thousands of years to fully mature.In the first photo (A), first stages of succession can be seen. In that area exists, small plant life in the form of shrubbery as well large rocks and little mineralized soil. This region would not be able to support many abiotic or biotic beings; hence, the smaller ones thrive.The next photo (B), portray the next phase of succession. In this area, the color of the soil indicates that there is a great deal more minerals in it than the previous photo. The rocks in...

Find Another Essay On Ecosystem Succession

Primary and Secondary Succession Essay

897 words - 4 pages Ecosystems are environments where biotic (living) organisms and abiotic (non-living) components interact together to create a functional, complex network of nutrient and energy cycling. These balanced environments take time, sometimes many years, to develop. During the course of development, species are replaced by other species within the ecosystem, a process known as succession. Primary succession happens when species grow in locations where

Succession Essay

968 words - 4 pages Introduction Succession is the process of a community developing over time, which involves species I one stage being replaced by a different species. It could take tens, hundreds, or even thousands of years in ecological succession. There are two different types of succession that are going to be discussed in this paper. The first succession is primary succession and the second is secondary succession. The major difference between the two types

ecological succession hawaii

1259 words - 6 pages most likely come back afterwards, thus helping to reestablish the climax community faster. Ecological Succession is a process made up of two parts, Primary and Secondary Succession, that both help the Hawaiian Islands to develop and thrive. Once the Hawaiian Islands reach their climax community, the ecosystems need to stabilize and maintain biodiversity, just like any other ecosystem. The Hawaiian Islands maintain stability by resisting to

Ecology affect

1210 words - 5 pages not directly competing each other but have their own niche in order to create a well-balanced ecosystem. The process of succession where if the process is not interfered with it will result in greater diversity and a well-rounded ecosystem, and where succession goes wrong due to invasive species, and what was carefully crafted through the gradual process of divergence comes crashing down in a few careless moments. All of these things are amazing

The Meaning of Ecology and Ecosystems

1235 words - 5 pages tasks, while others are very complex, but they can all be grouped into five mutually supporting principles: • Tropic levels (feeding relationships) • Energy flow (sunlight) • Material cycling (water, nitrogen, carbon) • Limiting factors (physical and chemical) • Constant change (succession and evolution) para 5 Ecology & Ecosystems pdf There are different levels of feeding relationships in an ecosystem and to understand how they work and affect the

Natural Disturbance Processes

817 words - 4 pages using 1) succession, 2) convergence, 3) patterning, 4) continuity, 5) irregularity, and 6) instability. Considerable references were provided for each. He observed that the work of Gleason (1917, 1926, 1939) and L. Ramensky addressed some of these problems. Whittaker addressed scale as an ecological issue when he agrees with Cain (1939) that the difference between mono-climax and poly-climax is semantic. Whittaker (1953) writes that, “No completely

Animal Disturbances in Eastern Deciduous Forests

2609 words - 10 pages , nutrient rich location to grow. Overall, disturbances generally have the effect of keeping the ecosystem in a constant state of succession. By being in a constant state of succession, the species from all steps of the succession process are maintained to some degree. Additionally, the ecosystem is prevented from becoming a monoculture. Although considering the undisturbed ecosystem to be at a fixed equilibrium is popular, an ecosystem without

Mapping Ecosystem Services in Colombia’s Putumayo Region

2745 words - 11 pages Mapping Ecosystem Services in Colombia’s Putumayo Region to Inform a Compensation Scheme to Establish Silvopastoral Systems Key Message The rain and cloud forests of Colombia’s Upper Putumayo region are becoming increasingly exposed to agriculture, ranching, and infrastructure development. These activities can have adverse effects on water supply and quality, soil erosion, carbon capture and sequestration, and biodiversity. The additional

An Ecosystem's Disturbance by a Pollutant

10152 words - 41 pages ). The impact can be one of sublethality to lethality, all dependent upon the factors involved. These factors need to be looked at when determining an ecosystem's disturbance by a pollutant.Some of the most frequent pollutants in our ecosystem include: gases such as sulphur dioxide, elements such as mercury and arsenic, and even pollution by nutrients which is referred to as eutrophication. Each of these pollutants pose a different effect on the

Exam revision notes for grade 11 biology. Units covered: microscopy, classification, plant & animal kingdoms, ecosystems, cycles, relationships/symbiosis and environmental change

1220 words - 5 pages organisms progressively colonise an area, they change the environment, thus making it suitable for new species·Sometimes when organisms change an environment, it is no longer suitable for themselves·The changing environment leads to a change in species, which is in essence, what a succession is.Secondary succession:·Occurs in an already established ecosystem·These successions are often caused by natural disasters like

Catastrophic Eruption in Making Sense of Mount St. Helens by Steve Nash

785 words - 4 pages Article Summary of Mount St. Helens In the article Making Sense of Mount St. Helens by Steve Nash, the author discusses the huge, catastrophic eruption in 1980, the environmental impact of the eruption, biological legacies, how the eruption helps better understand the process of succession, and the resurgence of scientific research at Mount St. Helens. Nash talks about the restrained locution of ecology, and what occurred in 1980 was not just a

Similar Essays

Ecosystem Succession Essay

1082 words - 5 pages Succession has helped people to understand that natural disasters; for example, tornadoes, melting of glaciers, hurricanes, volcanoes, etc., are not always bad things to happen. Even though these disasters may bring destruction, devastation, and death, the final outcome after the effect of succession usually means new life. Primary succession and secondary succession are two types of succession that effect the environment."Primary succession is

Ecosystem Succession Essay

973 words - 4 pages rocks among these lichens.Ecosystems experience secondary succession after a non-natural or natural disturbance, such as abandoned farmland and forest fires (Berg & Raven, 2004, figure 5.5, p. 88). The soil or substrate present at this location contains an active seed bank. For instance, a flood can be a source of remarkable devastation to an ecosystem. It also provides to release many accessible niches by hauling away certain organisms

Ecosystem Succession Paper

959 words - 4 pages recovery mechanisms.There are two kinds of ecosystem succession: Primary Succession and Secondary Succession. According to the text, Environment, primary succession is ecological succession that begins in an environment that has not been inhabited before. No soil exists when primary succession begins. Bare rock surfaces, such as recently formed volcanic lava and rock scraped clean by glaciers, are examples of sites where primary succession may

Ecosystem Succession Paper

707 words - 3 pages University of PhoenixScience 256: People, Science, and the EnvironmentEcosystem Succession Paper31Jan05Ecosystem 2.SuccessionSuccession is a phenomenon of transition in community structure and function which is time related and often occurs in a somewhat predictable manner. Primary succession, (fig 5-4, pg 87) occurs following formation of a new, yet barren habitat for colonization. Such a habitat may be formed by volcanic activity, glacial