• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Succession is the progression of plant and animal species in an area from smaller simpler organisms to larger more complex organisms, eventually leading to a climax community.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Succession Introduction Succession is the progression of plant and animal species in an area from smaller simpler organisms to larger more complex organisms, eventually leading to a climax community. The climax community is reached when the species found in the area remain constant over time with few or no species being wiped out or starting to grow- there is an equal balance between births and deaths and gross primary productivity is the same as total respiration. The climax community exists as long as biotic and abiotic factors allow. Things which could devastate a climax community include forest fires and drastic changes in climate, or biotic factors like Dutch elm disease, a fungus transmitted by European and American bark beetles which killed millions of elm trees in the 1980's. The climax community arises in stages called seral stages. There are two types of succession, primary and secondary. Primary succession A primary succession is one that takes place in an area or piece of land which was not previously populated by other organisms. ...read more.

Middle

As the lichens and mosses die, they leave behind a small layer of dead organic material which is sufficient to provide more tufted mosses and even some small herbaceous plants with enough water and minerals. As these species flourish, the light to the lichens and mosses is blocked and they are eliminated. As more plants die, the soil gets thicker and is colonised by bacteria which speed up the rate at which nutrients are released into the soil from humus. Small animals may be able to become established in this ground cover, providing a food source for higher carnivores. All the time, larger plants block the light to the smaller ones beneath them. Therefore most of the smaller plants are eliminated as the succession progresses. As the plants get larger, larger animals can find shelter in them and settle there. If abiotic factors allow, bushes and trees can grow and a climax forest appears. Succession on sand dunes A sand dune begins to form when sand being blown inland by the wind accumulates round small plants on the beach. ...read more.

Conclusion

the other being that some seeds or spores from the last plant community can still be present in the soil after the community is destroyed. A good example of secondary succession can be observed on abandoned farmland in temperate regions. The farmland was at one time probably a forest which was cut down to grow crops or graze animals on. After the land is abandoned, small weeds appear which give way to larger plants, bushes and shrubs, which are then superseded by larger trees and deciduous woodland. This whole succession can take place in just over a hundred years, whilst the succession to woodland in a freshwater lake can take up to ten thousand years. Conclusion: All landscapes have resulted from a succession of some sort and complex organisms would not be able to survive without the land first being made habitable by smaller plants with adaptations to survive in hostile conditions. Animal succession relies directly on plant succession to take place, since without the smaller plants as a source of food and shelter, the smaller animals would not be able to become established. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

***
A good summary of the key features of succession with some helpful definitions of terms. The two main types are described but more specific examples of plant species associated with serial stages would have improved the quality. The sand dune and salt marsh succession sections are a little superficial.

Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 20/08/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    effect of temperature on the rate of respiration in yeast

    5 star(s)

    reaction at a temperature t The rate of reaction will double at every 10 oC in temperature. So therefore I predict that Q10 = 2. Variables: There are many variables which I need to control in the aspect of fair test.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    An investigation into the effect of different sugars on respiration in yeast.

    5 star(s)

    * Repeat for each of the specified temperatures. Independent Variable * Amount of carbon dioxide produced (cm3) Key variables * Temperature of solution Control variables * Sugar used - Sucrose * Total amount of solution (20cm3) * Time respiration takes place (10 minutes)

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Ways in Which Organisms Use ATP

    4 star(s)

    Furthermore, ATP plays an important role in the synthesis of proteins for it is used in the activation of amino acids. ATP is condensed to AMP and PPi (pyrophosphate) by means of an enzyme call aminocyl-tRNA synthetase which couples the amino acid to the corresponding tRNA molecule's extending region via an ester bond.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    To make sure we have plenty of energy in the future, it's up to ...

    4 star(s)

    This chain reaction gives off heat energy. This heat energy is used to boil water in the core of the reactor. So, instead of burning a fuel, nuclear power plants use the chain reaction of atoms splitting to change the energy of atoms into heat energy.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How is ATP produced and used in living organisms?

    4 star(s)

    This stores energy until it is needed when it may be easily. This is caused and controlled by an enzyme called ATPase. ATP production is regulated by end product inhibition, this means that when the concentration gets to high because not enough is being produced, the ATP itself acts as an end-point inhibitor.

  2. Cycles in Biology.

    Eutrophication alters the way in which the nutrient cycles occur. Natural eutrophication is the process by which lakes gradually age and become more productive. It normally takes thousands of years to progress. However, humans, through their various cultural activities, have greatly accelerated this process in thousands of lakes around the globe.

  1. The basic factors that effect human comfort

    It is this wave, which, upon striking the ear, produces the sensation of sound in the brain. The strength or loudness of a sound depends upon the energy content of each sound 'wave'. The maximum displacement of each air particle is greater in stronger sounds.

  2. Effects of exercise on tidal volume and breathing rate

    To compensate for this the body increases ventilation proportionally to carbon dioxide production. When we participate in less strenuous exercise the extra energy that we need is provided for by an increase in the tidal volume. However during strenuous exercise, tidal volume can only increase to a maximum of 50-60% of the vital capacity, about 2.5-3L (in an average man).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work