REVIEW

1. Where does this system
get its energy from?
2. List the producers, primary
consumers, and secondary
consumers.
3. Where does the largest
amount of energy exist?
4. Where does the least
amount of energy exist?

OBJECTIVES
CONTENT:
1. DEFINE Succession.
2. Compare/Contrast Primary and Secondary
succession.
3. EXPLAIN what Pioneer organisms are and why
they are so important.
4. DESCRIBE the process of Pond succession.

Changes in Ecosystems:
Ecological Succession

Definition:
• The gradual change in an ecosystem
caused by the replacement of one
community by another until a stable climax
community is established.

•Long Term Change

Change in animals depends on the change in
plant-life.
Long term gradual change in ecosystems
occurs because over time one species will
replace another.

http://www.ux1.eiu.edu

WHAT CAUSES SUCCESSION?

Sometimes the environment changes abruptly & rapidly.
Due to Human Interference (clearing land for farming,
stores, homes, etc…)
Due to Natural disasters:
 Forest fires
 Volcanoes
 Storms
Ecosystems will work to restore themselves back to a
Stable or Steady State.
Can be PRIMARY or SECONDARY.

2 TYPES OF LAND SUCCESSION
Primary succession- the development of plant
communities on newly formed habitats that
DON’T HAVE SOIL (Ex…a lava flow)

Secondary succession- return of an area to its
natural vegetation following a disruption or
removal of the original climax community where
ONLY SOIL IS LEFT. (Ex…Forest fire)

Pioneer Species
• The first organisms to inhabit a given
location (Ex…lichens on bare rock)
• Pioneer organisms modify their environment,
thus establishing conditions under which
more advanced organisms can live.

LICHENS: alga & fungi in
Mutualistic relationship

L

http://botit.botany.wisc.edu

http://www.saguaro-juniper.com/

Primary Succession
• Soil starts to form as lichens (pioneer
species), weather, and erosion break
down rocks into smaller pieces.
• When lichens die, they decompose,
adding small amounts of organic matter
(nutrients) to make soil.

PRIMARY SUCCESSION

Primary Succession
• The simple plants die, adding more
organic material
• The soil layer thickens, and grasses,
wildflowers, and other plants begin to take
over

http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu

Primary Succession
• These plants die, and they add more
nutrients to the soil
• Shrubs and trees can survive now

http://www.rowan.edu

Primary Succession
• Insects, small birds, and mammals have
begun to move in
• What was once bare rock now supports a
variety of life

http://p2-raw.greenpeace.org

Secondary Succession
• Begins in a place that already has soil and
was once the home of living organisms
• Occurs faster and has different pioneer
species than primary succession
• Example: after forest fires

SECONDARY SUCCESSION

Climax Community
-A mature community in which populations remain
stable and may not undergo further succession
unless there is another disturbance.

• Does not always mean big trees
– Grasses in prairies
– Cacti in deserts

Pond Succession
How does a pond eventually become
a forest????

1. Sediment, fallen leaves and debris fall
into the lake and accumulate on the
bottom.
2. The water depth keeps decreasing.
3. Moss and rooted plants grow around
the edges of the shallow lake.
4. The lake continues to fill in and
becomes rich with nutrients.
5. Lake becomes a marsh.
6. Marsh becomes dry land.

7. Land community replaces the aquatic
community through secondary land
succession.
8. Over time, the lake will become a
forest.