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Why not take a look at how Succession works in practice in a Salt Marsh


Succession refers to community development with time. This change is directional leading to a stable end point.

Let's say your dad/mum/wife/husband/partner/significant other/chum/friend (political correctness can go too far don't you think?) asked you to cut their front lawn. You agree to do this but become distracted by a particularly riveting episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the telly. This puts your lawn mowing mission out of your mind for the next 50 years.

You are now a wizened old git, more in touch with events 50 years ago than what happened 5 minutes ago. You are halfway through telling your genetically modified grand-test-tube-children how you used to make your own entertainment in your day, when suddenly you remember....... the lawn. clamber aboard your hover-Zimmer and make your way to the garden gate. It won't open because there's a fairly large apple tree growing in front of it (apple core lobbed carelessly over the garden fence by a passing yobbo in the days before litter dropping was a capital offence). In fact 50 years without any grass cutting seems to have altered things quite a bit and the garden is now a dense thicket of shrubs, brambles and some quite sizable trees.

What has happened is SUCCESSION, without continuous attention (in the form of someone mowing it) the community that comprises the lawn has naturally developed into a different sort of community.

The example above would be known as secondary succession because community development has started as a result of some change to an existing community. The other sort of succession is known as primary succession. This occurs when communities begin to develop on sites that have not been occupied previously.

Click below to continue with some examples of succession and some terminology

Succesion: Terminology >>

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