Randerson, Peter Department of Applied Biology, University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
- Primary succession
- Climax community
- Autogenic vs. allogenic factors
- Heterotrophic succession
- Secondary succession
- Mechanisms of species replacement
- Deterministic vs. stochastic succession
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A directional change in an ecological community. Populations of animals and plants are in a dynamic state. Through the continual turnover of individuals, a population may expand or decline depending on the success of its members in survival and reproduction. As a consequence, the species composition of communities typically does not remain static with time. Apart from the regular fluctuations in species abundance related to seasonal changes, a community may develop progressively with time through a recognizable sequence known as the sere. Pioneer populations are replaced by successive colonists along a more or less predictable path toward a relatively stable community. This process of succession results from interactions between different species, and between species and their environment, which govern the sequence and the rate with which species replace each other. The rate at which succession proceeds depends on the time scale of species' life histories as well as on the effects species may have on each other and on the environment which supports them. See also: Ecological communities; Population ecology
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information