Ecological succession

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After in a forest fire: ecology changes after 1 year (left) and after 2 years (right)

Ecological succession, is the process by which a specific ecology has more or less orderly and predictably changed after a disturbance like a fire.[1] In long-term studies, there is a species succession process in the way forests develop.[2]

Notable ecologists[change | edit source]

Several scientists are prominent in the history of this process theory:

  • Adolphe Dureau de la Malle was the first to use of the word succession. He described the process of re-growth after trees in a forest had been cut down.
  • Henry David Thoreau described succession in an Oak-Pine forest in "The Succession of Forest Trees" in 1859.
  • Henry Chandler Cowles developed a formal concept of plant growth succession. His work was based on studies of sand dunes in Danish by Eugen Warming. Cowles proposed the term sere. This is a repeatable sequence of changes which are identified in specific environmental circumstances.[3]
  • Frederic Clements proposed a theory that seres were highly predictable.[3]
  • Henry Gleason proposed that chance factors were very important, even in highly predicable sere settings.[3]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Connell, Joseph and R. O. Slatyer. (1977). "Mechanisms of succession in natural communities and their role in community stability and organization," The American Naturalist, Vol. 111, Issue 982, pp. 1119–44.
  2. McEvoy, Thom. (2004). Positive Impact Forestry, p. 32.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Goldsmith, Edward. "Ecological Succession Rehabilitated," The Ecologist, Vol. 15, No. 3, 1985; retrieved 2011-12-19.

Other websites[change | edit source]