The term ecology is derived from the Greek word Oekologie. Literally Oekos means ‘home or surroundings’ and logos means ‘study’. Thus, ecology is the study of nature.
Ecology can be defined as “the study of the interactions between life and its physical environment; the relationship between animals and plants and how one species affect another.”
Ecological succession is orderly changes in the composition or structure of an ecological community. It is more or less predictable.
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Types of Ecological Succession
(i) Primary and Secondary Succession:
When the development begins on an area that has not been previously occupied by a community, the process is known as primary succession.
Examples A lava flow, a newly formed lake, or a newly exposed rock or sand surface.
When the community development is proceeding in an area from which a community was removed, it is called secondary succession.
Example it arises on cut-over forest, an abandoned crop etc. These are the sites where the vegetation cover has been disturbed by nature or humans.
(ii) Seasonal and Cyclic Succession:
These are periodic changes arising from fluctuating species interactions or recurring events.
Example Vegetation changes which are not dependent on disturbance unlike secondary succession.