Succession Notes

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Stage of succession

1. (Colonisation by) pioneer (species);

2. Change in environment/example of change caused byorganisms present;

3. Enables other species to colonise/survive;

4. Change in diversity/biodiversity;

5. Stability increases/less hostile environment;

6. Climax community;

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What limits the size of a population?

In a climax community, the following factors can limit the size of a population:

 1. named nutrient availability;

2. numbers of producers providing energy (for a food chain);

3. light intensity affecting the rate of photosynthesis; (in plants)

4. disease killing (weaker) members of species;

5. space for nest building / niches;

6. reproductive rate balancing death rate;

7. competition for a named limited resource;

8. (intra and interspecific) competition explained;

9. predation described;

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Interpreting Succession

In many ecosystems, succession takes place and can occur in a variety of contexts.

Certain things to look out for when asked to identify whether succession is taking place:

  • Colonisation of a hostile environment by pioneer species - usually microscopic organisms or early plants.
  • Death etc, leading to change in environment e.g. increase in organic matter etc.
  • New species able to come in and colonise leading to an increase in diversity and more niches.
  • Increased stability and availiability of nutrients.
  • More successful species become dominant.
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