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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 the change in species composition over time in a previously uninhabited environment" (Raven & Berg, 2006). In figure 4-4 of the text the pictures are showing the changes of Glacier Bay, Alaska. In the beginning photograph it is showing what the ...view middle of the document...

The ecosystem consists of two components. Abiotic is a non-living thing in the environment. A biotic is a living thing in the environment. Between humans, animals, vehicles, and other items that humans have created; the equilibrium of the ecosystem has changed. With humans constantly creating new things to make bigger and better things they have not put much thought into how they may affect the ecosystem. Vehicles have caused pollution, humans have created Styrofoam which does not break down in the environment and is not recyclable, and we have also created these cars that cause pollution. There are so many things that the human race has created that has caused the equilibrium in the ecosystem to get out of control. "Most natural ecosystems are in a state of equilibrium or balance so that few changes occur in the natural flora and fauna. However, when changes occur in the environment, either major climatic changes or alterations made by man, an imbalance results and the ecosystem changes" (xreferplus.com, 1988).Ecosystems go through a natural cycle of progression. As discussed earlier, ecosystems are made up of abiotic (non-living) and biotic components. The basic components are important to nearly all types of ecosystems. (Borman et al, 1970). Energy is continually input into an ecosystem in the form of light energy, and some energy is lost with each transfer to a higher trophic level. Nutrients, on the other hand, are recycled within an ecosystem, and their supply normally limits biological activity. Energy is also moving through an ecosystem via a food web, which is made up of interlocking food chains. Energy is first captured by photosynthesis. The amount of primary production determines the amount of energy available to higher trophic levels. The study of how chemical elements cycle through an ecosystem is termed biogeochemistry. A biogeochemical cycle can be expressed as a set of stores and transfers. (Borman et al, 1970).Since disturbances are normal characteristics of all communities, ecologists frequently discuss the disturbance regime of a community. (Wessells et al, 1988). The disturbance regime evaluates the characteristics of the...

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