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

Ecological Succession.

Extracts from this document...


Ecological Succession Succession is "A sequence of ecological changes in an area whereby one group of plant or animal species successively gives way to another, culminating in a climax community." This succession occurs in a number of sereal stages. A sere is a stage in a sequence of events by which succession occurs. The complete chain of seres is called a prisere. It begins with a pioneer community and ends with a climax community. This climax community occurs when the ultimate vegetation has become in equilibrium with the local environment. There are four main areas where succession occurs rocky environment called a lithosere, sandy environment called a psammosere, a fresh water environment called a hydrosere and a salt-water environment called a halosere. Two examples of a litosere are Sutsey a newly, formed volcanic island and Krakatoa an island striped of all its vegetation by a series of volcanic eruptions. Sutsey is located to the south east of Iceland and is slowly becoming colonised. The first colonisers of the bare rock on a lithosere environment are blue-green bacteria and single cell photosynthesisers, both of which have no need of a root system. ...read more.


This humus is created by the decomposition of marram grass. These grey dunes can support a much wider range of plants due to the increased water level, the reduction in wind and the increased humus level. Some of these plants include red fescue, gorse, bracken and heather. On the land ward side of the dunes about four hundred metres away from the sea are the climax of the succession the ash and oak trees. Hydroseres such as those created around the Talybont reservoir in Wales develop from fresh water lakes and pools. Initially these bodies of water hold little nutrients but sediment carried into the water will enrich the water with nutrients. The pioneer community will use these nutrients, which in this case are algae and mosses. These grow forming vegetation rafts whose surface supports bacteria and insects. Next there will be water loving plants such as lilies which us the nutrients recycled by bacteria from the pioneer community. Marsh plants such as bulrushes, sedges and reeds begin to encroach into the body of water as deposition increases. As marsh plants grow further out into the body of water there is increased deposition of sediment at the expense of the water and small trees may begin to take root forming a marshy thicket. ...read more.


There is also a difference in the plants ant the different stages of succession the early plants are said to be -r selection. These plants are opportunists with a rapid life cycle. An example of a plant in -r selection is the dandelion, which produces thousands of seeds. In contrast to this the plants later in the process of succession -K selected. Examples of this include the oak and ash trees. They are characterised by long lives and a high amount of investment into their seeds. This high investment therefore means that the seeds are better protected from the environment and therefore less are produced. "Zonation is the distribution of plants or animals into specific zones according to altitude, depth, etc., each characterised by its dominant species." Examples of zonation occur at a beach. The species of plants will vary in zones with an increase in distance from the high water mark. The factors affecting this zonation will be varied but may include things like strength of the tide and the amount of time they are underwater. The also occur on a mountain side where as the climatic conditions change the plants which can best survive in those conditions flourish thus developing clear zones. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Living Things in their Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 GCSE Living Things in their Environment essays

  1. What Factors are responsible for the success of Insects?

    The impressive sound of cicadas calling to each other is familiar to many people. Other insects use scent, not song, to attract mates, and they are capable of detecting as little as 100 molecules of pheromone in 1 ml of air (Berenbaum, 1995).

  2. Investigating the effect of four antibiotic agents on gram positive and gram negative bacteria.

    * Divide the petri dish base into four even sections with a permanent marker pen. * Sterilise a white tile with 1% Virkon cleaner. * Transfer the Penicillin G and the Streptomycin onto the white tile. * To transfer the above antibiotic agents, flame the mounted needle and gently poke

  1. The comparison of bacterial content in a range of milks.

    Never opening the petri dish-never exposing it to the air. Keep the materials being used close to the busen burner flame-will kill off the bacteria Keep the petri sealed after experiment-NEVER OPEN A SEALED DISH Wash hands with clean water after use, if the substances gets into a cut then

  2. Evolution, Natural selection and Darwinism

    This has risen in order not to stop wasting blood, nutrients, and space to an organ, which no longer has a major function, and natural selection would tend to favour individuals with reduced versions of those organs, and thereby tend to phase out obsolete structures.

  1. The effect of competition on the distribution of marram grass.

    The clock was then stopped when the water fell to 100cm3 (so the time was recorded for the infiltration of 150cm3 into the soil) Volume (i.e. 150cm3) / Time (decimal) = cm3/min-1 Wind speed was measured using an anemometer, it was held out above the sand surface and the maximum gust speed was recorded.

  2. Is the preferred habitat of moss on the North side of a Yew Tree ...

    I then placed the meter ruler against the north side of the trunk and held the quadrat above it against the trunk, with the top right hand corner of the ruler touching the bottom left hand corner of the quadrat.

  1. Sand Dune Ecology and Conservation Course Work

    At the end of the sand dune succession we see that because of most of the plants being tall trees a forest has been created and at the forest floor there is very little sunlight. Hear only specialized plants requiring almost no sunlight can grow as well as fungi.

  2. Literature Review on Germination of Orchid Seeds.

    Knudson, in the course of proving that orchids could be germinated asymbiotically, found that contaminating fungi and a species of bacteria both improved the growth of protocorms.1 It is important to note that though initial stages of germination (water uptake and rupturing of the testa)

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