Ecological succession Lesson plan

ZingPath: Population Dynamics
November 9, 2014 – 02:49 pm

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Describe the process of ecological succession.

~ First, lichens, which grow on rock, appear in a destroyed region. The lichens help break down the rock. Then, as lichens die and decompose, and weathering breaks apart rock, soil begins to form. As soil becomes richer, small plants like mosses and ferns appear, and the lichens start to disappear. The soil continues to become richer as plants continue to die and decompose, and flowering plants and grasses appear, bringing insects to the region. In time, shrubs and small trees cover the region, creating a suitable habitat for reptiles, birds, and mammals. As the shrubs and trees grow, smaller plants die from lack of sunlight and add more organic material to the soil. Eventually, the shrubs and trees die because taller trees cover the region. This all happens gradually over a long period of time.

What is the main difference between primary succession and secondary succession?

~ Primary succession is an ecological succession that takes place in a region that initially lacks soil, and secondary succession is the reestablishment of a damaged ecosystem due to natural disasters such as fires, droughts, or flooding.

What are some events and processes that determine the diversity of the organisms that will appear in either a primary or secondary successive environment?

~ A region's climate, its resources, and the relationships of the species in the community determine which organisms will appear in a successive ecosystem.

Describe how the events and processes that occur during ecological succession can change populations within an ecosystem.

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