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Odval dolu Vítek

Ecological succession

Ecological succession represents a non-seasonal, directed and continuous process of colonization and termination of plants and animals in a particular location. The populations of single organism species or entire groups of species living in a particular location are succeeded by other populations of other species and groups of species.

The process of ecological succession is happening slowly in all ecosystems in connection with disturbances or elimination. Should the entire organic material and soil be eliminated (e.g. by a glacier or mineral raw material extraction), then the subsequent colonization of the location is called a primary ecological succession.

Should the territory be disturbed, e.g. by a fire, a whirlwind or another natural disaster, and only the majority of living organisms is removed but not the soil with the deposits of diaspores, then a secondary ecological succession takes place.

According to F. Clements, ecological succession is foreseeable. Pioneer species are at the start – e.g. evening primrose, rosebay willowherb, European white birch etc. – they colonize new or released areas. By doing so, they prepare the territory for colonization by further species that are better adapted to the particular conditions. This alteration of species and communities continues until a relatively stable climax community of species evolves. H. Gleason on the other hand, pays more attention to the great variety of succession series. Based on his view, the succession can only reflect the enormous vitality of a species in a given area with particular environmental conditions.

At the Vítek Mine pit tip, the pioneer plant species have already been supplemented by species typical for an advanced stage of ecologic succession. 

GPS position

N 50° 10.400', E 14° 9.714'



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Richard Žižka