Ecological Succession Essay

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Succession is a scientific term describing the long-term progression of biological communities that occurs in a given area [1][3][20]. Ecological succession is the gradual process in which ecosystems can change and develop over time [1]. Famed ecologist Eugene Odom once said “ecological succession is a developmental process and not just a succession of species each acting alone”[1]. Ecological succession is a process governed not by the amount of resources available to a species but the amount of competition there is for those resources [4].
Ecological succession occurs in any environment, whether it is a terrestrial or even a freshwater ecosystem [1][2]. Even though succession happens in both of these ecosystems, the phases are very different
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The soil and organisms that remain establish a healthy ecosystem and larger plants and animals can begin to reestablish the environment more rapidly [2] [7]. An example of secondary succession would be the recovery of an ecosystem after humans cut down all of the trees [2].
Ecological succession in freshwater ecosystems is a study that has not been studied nearly as much as its counterpart terrestrial succession [2]. One reason it has not been studied as much is the sheer amount of time it takes to occur and the conditions in which it occurs. Therefore, not much is known about freshwater succession. However we do know that freshwater succession in ecosystems such as lakes and streams, only occurs when a disturbance occurs that results in the area filling with sediment or organic matter [6-8]
Specific factors that can be used to determine the existence of ecological succession and affect water quality include: temperature (both external and internal), dissolved oxygen, pH, alkalinity, low range phosphate, nitrate nitrogen, and
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It is a visual feature of water and that expresses the amount of light scattered by material in the water when light is shined through the water sample [25]. The higher the concentration of scattered light, the higher the turbidity will be [25]. Clay, silt, finely divided inorganic and organic matter, algae, soluble colored organic compounds, and plankton and other microscopic organisms all are materials that cause water to be turbid [25]. High turbidity can significantly reduce the beauty of lakes and streams. It can increase the cost of water treatment for drinking and food processing [25]. It can harm fish and other aquatic life by reducing food supplies, degrading spawning beds, and affecting gill function of aquatic animals

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