|Posted by Dienny R. Rahmani on August 25, 2015 at 1:10 AM|
Ecology is the scientific analysis and study of interactions among organisms and their environment. Ecology includes the study of interactions organisms have with each other, other organisms, and with abiotic components of their environment. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution, amount (biomass), and number (population) of particular organisms; as well as cooperation and competition between organisms, both within and among ecosystems.
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An ecosystem is a community of organisms interacting with each other and with their environment such that energy is exchanged and system-level processes, such as the cycling of elements, emerge (ellis, 2014). Ecosystems are habitats within biomes that form an integrated whole and a dynamically responsive system having both physical and biological complexes. Ecosystems are composed of dynamically interacting parts including organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and various niche construction activities, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits, and the variety of organisms is called biodiversity. Biodiversity, which refers to the varieties of species, genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services.
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Ecological succession is the same idea - it is the observed changes in an ecological community over time. These changes are fairly predictable and orderly. Within an ecological community, the species composition will change over time as some species become more prominent while others may fade out of existence. As the community develops over time, vegetation grows taller, and the community becomes more established (Chow, 2013)
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Ecological succession happens for a few different reasons.
Primary succession is initiated when a new area that has never previously supported an ecological community is colonized by plants and animals. This could be on newly exposed rock surfaces from landslides or lava flows.
Secondary succession occurs when an area that has previously had an ecological community is so disturbed or changed that the original community was destroyed and a new community moves in. This is more common than primary succession, and is often the result of natural disasters such as fires, floods, and winds, as well as
Seasonal Succession is is another step of succession, but instead of being the result of disastrous event it is caused by cyclical changes in the environment or interaction between species in a community.
Chow, E. 2013. What Is Ecological Succession? - Definition, Types & Stages. study.com (http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-ecological-succession-definition-types-stages.html)
Ellis, E. 2014. Ecosystem. The Encyclopedia of Earth (http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/51cbed8c7896bb431f692c46/)