Ecological Succession

∞ generated and posted on 2016.08.30 ∞

Environmental change that fosters replacement within an environment of one or more species by others.

Often ecological succession follows recognizable and repeated patterns that involve earlier species modifying environments in such a way that those environments become better suited to exploitation by subsequent species.

For example, grasses along with various "weed" species may be replaced by shrubs and in turn trees which are better competitors in non-shady environments. The latter then may be replaced by trees that are better competitors in shady environments.

Ecological succession can be differentiated into primary versus secondary ecological succession, that is, the invasion of otherwise sterile environments with organisms versus the replacement of one species with another, respectively.