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

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 ...

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. Marked by a teacher

    An experiment to investigate the species diversity in non-trampled and trampled areas.

    4 star(s)

    Nettles (Urtica dioica) are a herbaceous perennial, growing to 1-2m tall in the summer and dying down to ground level in the winter. It has widely spread roots. Humans and animal waste may be responsible for elevated levels of phosphate in the soil, providing an ideal environment for stinging nettles.

  2. Explain how natural selction may bring about changes in a population and what conditions ...

    These are brought in by mutations. A mutation is a change in the structure or amount of DNA in the amino acids sequence produced. A mutation in a gamete will be inherited, whereas a mutation in other body cells will not be passed to offspring. Gene mutation is an alteration in the base sequence of one or two base pairs by addition, deletion or substitution.

  1. The effect of osmosis on potatoes

    the best method to use for my final experiment is to measure the effect of osmosis by calculating the change in mass of cylinder shaped pieces of potato. This will allow me to easily control the surface area of the pieces of potato- because I am using a borer.

  2. Comparison of the species diversity of the vegetation of upland and lowland ecosystems.

    Vegetation that is lime hating can only exist in acidic and not alkaline soils. Vegetation which is lime loving can only survives in alkaline and not acidic soils. If a soil has quite high nitrate levels the soil will consist of many nutrients making conditions better for plants to survive in.

  1. An investigation into whether varying light intensity at a stream affects the species diversity

    population numbers are constantly changing due to the following cycle: Abundant food is available to species so there is a high feeding rate, immigration of species and successful reproduction. The numbers of the species increase rapidly. The food supply then becomes scarce causing competition for food.

  2. What sorts of species become 'invasive aliens' in a world of climatic change?

    It will be argued the type of species that will become invasive aliens is largely dependent upon the local resonance of climate change processes and a variety of other factors (such as habitat disturbance), although life history characteristics of the invasive species will remain an important variable.

  1. Ecological Succession.

    Krakatoa however has reached its climax community with eight hundred different species being recorded in 1983 one hundred years after the clearance of the island. Psammoseres occur in a sandy environment. An example of this is Camber Sands, which has developed over time from a small beach to a complete dune system.

  2. Extinction of Species Writing Assignment - The Hawaiian Hoary Bat.

    Something must be done now to save this species before it is too late. The Hawaiian hoary bat is also a valuable resource for the study of aspects of isolation and island biodiversity. The Hawaiian Islands are isolated, geologically immature, and climatically varied.

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