Plant Succession

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Submitted By sesamerows
Words 1138
Pages 5
SUCCESSION
Virtually all plant communities experience, from time to time, disturbances that remove all or some of the plant biomass. Thus, diversity is influenced heavily by disturbance

=is the directional change in community composition and structure over time.

• "begins" when a disturbance is followed by colonization or re-growth of the disturbed site by plants

• Natural, gradual changes in the types of species that live in an area; can be primary or secondary • The gradual replacement of one plant community by another through natural processes over time
Causes of Plant Succession • Autogenic succession (2 types) can be brought by changes in the soil caused by the organisms there. These changes include accumulation of organic matter in litter or humic layer, alteration of soil nutrients, change in pH of soil by plants growing there. The structure of the plants themselves can also alter the community. For example, when larger species like trees mature, they produce shade on to the developing forest floor that tends to exclude light-requiring species. Shade-tolerant species will invade the area. • Allogenic changes are caused by external environmental influences and not by the vegetation. For example soil changes due to erosion, leaching or the deposition of silt and clays can alter the nutrient content and water relationships in the ecosystems. Animals also play an important role in allogenic changes as they are pollinators, seed dispersers and herbivores. They can also increase nutrient content of the soil in certain areas, or shift soil about (as termites, ants, and moles do) creating patches in the habitat. This may create regeneration sites that favor certain species.

2 main types of Autogenic successions • Primary Succession: The process of creating life in an area where no life previously existed. • an…...

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