SCI/ 256 People Science and the Environment
Primary and Secondary Succession
This paper will review the components of primary and secondary succession as describes on page 68 and 69 of the textbook Environment. The scope of this paper will attempt to address how biotic and a biotic components effect the balance of the ecosystem, and how ecosystems go through the cycles of progression.
When discussing primary succession, one must first understand what primary succession in point of fact means. In the case of figure 4-4 on page 68, the text is and visual example in question is of a glacial moraine. Primary successions can also be caused by other geological changes, like lava flows. The common element being that the newly exposed environment is often lacking soil or vegetation. This new environment requires plants similar t lichen or mosses to act as a form of pioneer plats in the new environment. These plants set the stage for future plant growth by creating new optimal conditions for plant growth.
As the environment changes over time, hardier plats begin to grow in the environment. The onetime barren landscape slowly gives way to grasses and eventually shrubs and trees begin to take root and thrive in the new, yet very old environment. The whole process would not take place with out pedogenesis. Pedogenesis is a fascinating subject on its own. One can describe it as the process of creating soil. Through weathering of rack mass, and the addition of decaying plant material over time, new soil is created. This is real Genesis.
The definition of Secondary succession would be responses to a disturbance, for example, forest fire, tsunami, flood, or an abandoned field. Our example given on page 69 is that of an abandoned field in North Carolina. The example may be specific in the textbook; however, the results would be similar no matter where the event took place. The environment of the area plays the...