Patterns of Succession

Insect Succession

Two types of succession can be recognized. Primary succession occurs on newly exposed substrates (e.g., lava flows, uplifted marine deposits, dunes, newly deposited beaches, etc.). Primary succession usually involves a long period of soil formation and colonization by species requiring little substrate modification. Secondary succession occurs on sites where the previous community was disturbed and is influenced by remnant substrate and surviving individuals. Although most studies of succession...

Regulation of Net Primary Productivity by Insects

During the 1960s, a number of studies, including Crossley and Howden (1961), Crossley and Witkamp (1964), C. Edwards and Heath (1963), and Zlotin and Khodashova (1980), indicated that arthropods potentially control energy and nutrient fluxes in ecosystems. Clearly, phytophages could affect, without regulating, ecosystem properties. However, phytophages respond to changes in vegetation density or physiological condition in ways that provide both positive and negative feedback, depending on the...

Components of Stability

Holling (1973) originally defined stability as the ability of a community to withstand disturbance with little change in structure, whereas resilience was the capacity of the community to recover following perturbation. Webster et al. (1975) subsequently refined the definition of stability to incorporate both resistance to change and resilience following perturbation. Succession is the expression of resilience. However, the criteria for measuring stability remain elusive. What degree of change...

Decomposition and Mineralization

An extensive literature has addressed the effects of detritivores on decomposition and mineralization rates (Coleman et al. 2004). Generally, the effect of arthropods on the decay rate of litter can be calculated by subtracting the decay rate when arthropods are excluded from the decay rate when arthropods are present (see Table 14.1). Detritivores affect decomposition and mineralization processes, including fluxes of carbon as CO2 or CH4, by fragmenting litter and by affecting rates of...

Factors Affecting Succession

Succession generally progresses toward the community type characteristic of the biome within which it occurs (e.g., toward deciduous forest within the deciduous forest biome or toward chaparral within the chaparral biome e.g.,Whittaker 1953, 1970). However, succession can progress along various alternative pathways and reach alternative endpoints (such as stands dominated by beech, Fagus, maple, Acer, or hemlock, Tsuga, within the eastern deciduous forest in North America), depending on a...

Regulation of Net Primary Productivity by Biodiversity

Ecosystem Stability Biodiversity

The extent to which biodiversity contributes to ecosystem stability has been highly controversial (see Chapter 10). Different species have been shown to control different aspects of ecosystem function (e.g., production, decomposition, and nutrient fluxes), demonstrating that biodiversity in its broadest sense affects ecosystem function (Beare et al. 1995, Vitousek and Hooper 1993, Waide et al. 1999, Woodwell 1993). The presence or absence of individual species affects biotic, atmospheric,...