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Succession

Many of the eco-zones or biomes that you are familiar with - the Boreal Forest, the Rocky Mountains - are areas where species have been interacting for many years. But that has not always been the case. For instance, glaciers retreat, leaving a completely different environment behind them. Animals and plants adjust and create new relationships with one another in a way that will sustain the balance of life and growth within their ecosystem.

Animals and plants will move into and successfully inhabit a newly formed area. This process is called succession and continues until climax communities develop. In other words, an ecosystem can only support a limited amount of life - be it plant or animal. Anything over this limit will not be able to survive because of natural mechanisms for population control like predation and natural deaths. Once the ecosystem has stabilized, it may mirror other ecosystems that have developed in the same ecological region.

For example, a forming ecosystem in the grasslands will most likely become host to the same species as other, similar ecosystems within that grassland region. That makes sense right? However, there may be slight differences as a result of a lack or excess of nutrients in the soil of the area that may support different forms of vegetation.

Succession

Succession