Examining the Stages in Ecological Succession KEY

Original Document: Examining the Stages in Ecological Succession

Succession, a series of environmental changes, occurs in all ecosystems. The stages that any ecosystem passes through are predictable. In this activity, you will place the stages of succession of two ecosystems into sequence. You will also describe changes in an ecosystem and make prediction.....


1. Write the letters of the ponds in order from the youngest, to the oldest. __B, C, A, D_
2. Black bass and bluegill make their nests on sandy bottoms. In which pond would you find them? ___B___
3. What will happen to the black bass and blue gill as the floor of the ponds fills with organic debris? __they die__
4. Golden shiner and mud minnows lay their eggs on Chara. In which pond would you find them? ___C_
5. Some amphibians and crayfish can withstand periods of dryness by burying themselves in mud. In which pond(s) would they survive? ALL
6. Dragonfly nymphs spend their early stages clinging to submerged plants. Then, they climb to the surface, shed their skins and fly away as dragonflies. Which pond is best suited for dragonflies?____A__
7. In which pond will gill breathing snails be replaced by lung breathing snails that climb to the surface to breathe? __D___
8. Some mussels require a sandy bottom in order to maintain an upright position. In which ponds will they die out. ___C & D____

The climax community in the area ofMichigan is a beech-maple forest. After the ponds are filled in, the area will undergo another series of stages of succession. This is illustrated below. Briefly explain what is happening in the diagram below.

Weeds grow which are replaced by shrubs and small trees, then eventually by larger trees, like oaks.