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What is succession?
Succession is a directional change in a
community of organisms over time. (OCR definition)
This means when a community develops, for
example on a bare rocky island, at first only
lichens will grow there, but eventually a forest
will grow there (provided there are no grazing
animals or pesky humans! )…read more

Slide 3

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How does it happen?
I'll use the same example as the previous page.
There's an island called Surtsey off Iceland, that
was created by volcanic activity. It is now home
to a community of plants. When a community
develops from bare ground, it is called primary
succession.…read more

Slide 4

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Algae and lichens start to live on the bare rock. The
first group of organisms to live there is known as the
`pioneer community'.
Erosion of rock, and dead rotting matter, produces
soil. When there is enough soil on the rock, larger
plants can grow there, such as mosses and ferns.
They are said to `succeed' the lichens.
Larger plants continue to succeed the smaller ones,
until a final community is reached. This is called the
climax community.…read more

Slide 5

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Another example
The example OCR like to use a lot is a sand dune,
because you can see all the stages of succession
in the same place at the same time- just above
the high water mark is the start of the succession
process.…read more

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