Understanding succession (see Succession), that is, the change in vegetation of an area over time, is fundamental for the theoretical understanding of grasslands as well for an understanding of the reactions of grasslands to management. Models of grassland succession, especially applied models, are mostly based on the Clementsian theory of ecological succession. Models which explicitly deal with spatial structures are more influenced by the work of A. S. Watt in the 1940s, who proposed that plant communities are composed of a mosaic of patches in different states of a natural cycle of disturbance and regeneration.
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