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Ecological Succession: Udzungwa Forest/ Waterfall Ecological succession is the process of community change and development of an ecological structure over

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Introduction

Ecological Succession: Udzungwa Forest/ Waterfall Ecological succession is the process of community change and development of an ecological structure over time. This is normally caused by disturbances within the landscape, such as climate change, or external factors such as fire, trampling or pollution. Despite these changes, a structure continues to grow and develop. There are mainly two types of succession: primary succession and secondary succession. Primary succession is the process of life colonizing areas that have never been colonized (such as a cooling field of lava) , while secondary succession is the re-establishment of species into an area that once contained a biological community but has somehow been altered (such as a cleared field no longer being farmed). ...read more.

Middle

Early colonizers tend to be small, tolerant, fast-growing, opportunistic species that are effective at spreading their seeds. Early colonizers are also known as Pioneer Species: the first species to colonize a habitat. Examples of these types of plants in the Udzungwa area are moss, or lichen. This is why, near the waterfall, untouched parts of rock tend to grow moss heavily. Although these types of species are considered to be a "bother" - weeds, without this stage ecological succession would be nonexistent. After the Pioneer stage, these species are gradually replaced by plants known as Middle colonizers. These plants may need special soil, grow slower, less tolerant, and are larger. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the Udzungwa forest, these are the small and large trees that surround everything. This stage is the last of the succession process, leading into the final stage of "Climax Community". Climax community is the ultimate phase, where a community can grow no more. It is quite a rare thing in today's world for an ecological structure to reach the point of its climax community, as there are currently so many human interferences. This stage normally has the highest species diversity. The Udzungwa forest and waterfall however had almost reached its climax community, as it is so away from technology that organisms and vegetation had the liberty to expand. The climax community in this case is a full-fledged forest and thus a stable community of plants and animals is accomplished. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nisha Kanabar 3/3/05 ...read more.

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