Forest Succession

By: Abby Collins Period 2

Lichen Stage

Lichen can live on rocks or tree bark. It is a greenish-grayish color and flaky. It releases an acid that helps break down rocks into soil.

Moss Stage

Moss lives on the soil of rocks that were made by lichen. Moss provides homes for insects and when the insects die it creates better soil.

When a plant or tree dies it goes into the ground and helps to create better and more fertile soil.

Weed Stage

Weeds can live in very bad conditions. Weeds produce lots of seeds and cover the soil.

Shrub Stage

Shrubs are plants that have woody stems and can live in the shade. Shrubs shade out weeds and can kill them. When they die they create richer soil.

Pioneer Tree Stage

These small trees need lots of sunlight and grow faster than other trees. These do not live as long as other trees and they cannot live in the shade.

Secondary Tree Stage

Trees in the secondary tree stage can live under the shade of pioneer trees and eventually outgrow them and shade them out.

Climax Tree Stage

These trees can live in the shade of other trees long enough to get big enough to end up taking over the forest.

My Forest

In my forest Lichen is growing over trees and rocks. The lichen releases acid that helps break down rocks and tree bark and create simple soil. There is not many pioneer trees in the forest except for the edges because most of the forest is in the shade and Pioneer trees can't live in the shade. Most of the forest is dominated by Oak and Pine trees. There are still many trees in the climax stage and several other stages that have not grown to their mature size yet but are on their way. The various plants and trees in the forest are helping each other become more mature and with that creating a more mature forest.
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Climax Tree

Oak Tree

Knowledgeum at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
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Forest Succesion

Lichen breaks down rocks into simple soil. Moss grows on the simple soil that lichen leaves behind. Insects live in moss and when the insects die the soil becomes richer. Because of this all stages of plants and trees grow better. Weeds grow all over and they can live in bad conditions. Shrubs shade out the soil and when they die they make the soil richer. Because of the richer soil the plants live longer. Pioneer trees grow with sunlight and they grow fast. They move into open space. Secondary trees can grow in the shade of other trees and eventually outgrow them. The trees in the climax stage are able to live long enough in the shade to outgrow other trees and plants and end up dominating the forest.

All of the stages depend on one another to live and grow.