A secondary ecological succession will follow the destruction of the vegetation in an ecosystem, even if it has been completely destroyed in a major forest fire, provided that the soil has been left intact. Seeds brought into the area by wind or by animals, or seeds that were left below the soil before the disturbance, will take root and become the pioneer plants of the secondary succession. Herbaceous plant growth, such as grass, will begin to grow first, followed by bushes and the first-emerging trees, and lead ultimately to a restoration of the original ecosystem.Continue Reading
A variety of mechanisms can trigger the secondary succession and affect the length of time of the restoration. Factors include the condition of the soil prior to the disturbance, trophic interactions and trade-offs between competitor and colonizer species.
A secondary succession occurring in a forest recovering from a major disturbance, such as a fire, will progress through four phases. The first is an establishment phase in which new seedlings from the first-appearance succession trees germinate in the soil left after the disturbance. In the thinning phase that comes next, these trees begin to compete for water, nutrients and light. The weaker trees are thinned out during this phase and new hardier shade-tolerant tree species begin to grow. The first-appearance trees begin to die off during the transition phase which follows. They are not able to reproduce because of the shaded areas they created, and the later-appearing shade-tolerant trees start to take over the forest. In the final steady state phase, the later shade-tolerant trees reproduce and grow under the forest canopy and the first-appearance trees, which were unable to reproduce and grow in the shade, are replaced.Learn more about Economics
According to the National Wildlife Federation, habitat destruction occurs when human activity drastically changes or destroys any natural ecosystem. Habitat destruction reduces the food, water and shelter that is available to support wildlife.Full Answer >
A grassland ecosystem is the collection of plants, animals and micro-organisms that live within an environment where grasses are the primary form of vegetation. Examples of grassland ecosystems include the prairies of western North America, the Pampas of Argentina and the Russian steppes.Full Answer >
Some of the dynamic processes that can occur within an ecosystem are flooding, temperature changes, vegetation growth, invasions by non-native species and human intervention. In riparian ecosystems, such as floodplains, the role of human intervention can be significant as man-made structures such as levees, dikes and dams alter the course of water flows and flood pulses. Hydrologic alterations are an example of how changes made to an ecosystem carry the potential to disrupt critical nutrient cycling, change seed dispersal patterns and hamper the establishment and growth of vital plant communities.Full Answer >
A secondary succession is the ecological succession that takes place on the soil in which a primary succession occurred. The secondary succession occurs after an event occurs to remove the previous inhabitants, such as flood or forest fire.Full Answer >