Concepts in ecological succession

Luiz Antonio Ferraz Matthes, Fernando Roberto Martins


It is important to understand ecological succession as this is a central topic in the theory of ecology and can be used in conservation, for self-sustainable exploration of natural resources, and for the recuperation of degraded areas. The ecological succession is a spontaneous and natural process that always happens when a new habitat is exposed. ln such a habitat, more and more species start to establish and develope, one substituting the other, initially at a high rate, afterwards diminuishing gradually, and at least ata low rate. On the one hand, this process depends on the availability of propagules and sites suitable for their establishment, and on the performance of each plant under the abiotic conditions of the sites as well as the on biological interactions with other animais or plants, on the other. ln the p resent study a revision of the important practical and theoretical investigations on ecological succession is undertaken. The development of these is p o larized between holism and reductionism, deterministic and stochastic. A minimal knowledge of the principal problems and of the basic literature is essential for the execuhon. of new studies which could contribute to the further development of the theory of ecolocical succession. One of the major problems that limits the development of the theory is the lack of adequa te descriptors for the elassification of species into functional types (ecological groupes). It is possible that this limitation is due to the lack of basic data about the life deles of spedes and the methodological difficulties inherent in the study of species with plants of big size and long life deles.


succcession; ecological succesion concepts; regeneration; recomposition


ISSN: 2447-536X

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