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Succession is where a pioneer species colonise an area, andgradually bring about changes so that other more complex species mayalso colonise the area, replacing the pioneers. The presence of thepioneer species signifies primary succession, which is ...

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Introduction

Succession Succession is where a pioneer species colonise an area, and gradually bring about changes so that other more complex species may also colonise the area, replacing the pioneers. The presence of the pioneer species signifies primary succession, which is basically the colonisation of bare rock. The abiotic conditions are extreme, with a very harsh climate which can only be survived by the pioneer species. An example of a pioneer species is lichen, which are found in the splash zone of a shore. ...read more.

Middle

It also takes in water through osmosis, and even minerals. The hyphae even protect the lichen from desiccation, as it forms a mat which protects the lichen. Physical and chemical weathering allow colonisation to begin. For example, when freeze/thaw causes cracks to appear in the rocks, they provide ideal sheltered areas for colonisation. Also, as rainwater is slightly acidic, wears down the rocks, also causing suitable conditions. When lichen die, the nitrogenous compounds are broken down by saprophytic bacteria into ammonia or ammonium ions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Overall, the index of diversity increases over time. Eventually, when the environment is stable and the index of diversity is high, a climax community has been formed. Secondary succession is where the pioneer species is replaced by more organisms, and usually takes place after the existing ecosystem has been disturbed, often by a natural disaster or even deforestation. The process goes much more quickly than primary succession, as the soil is already present. Generally, primary succession is quite rare in today's world as violent disturbances of an ecosystem (such as a volcanic eruption) that create a `blank canvas' don't occur that often. Secondary succession is more commonplace. Succession occurs in every ecosystem in the world, and is easily visible. ...read more.

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