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successionSukzession (ger.)

  • 1) The rotation (of crops); the maturing of crops of the same kind by a system of successive sowings so that as one is declining another is coming on. (OED)

    The Succession of Crops

    Marshall, W. (1778). Succession, In: id. (1779). Experiments and Observations Concerning Agriculture and the Weather, 168-170: 168.
  • 2) The continued sequence in a definite order of species, types, etc. (OED)

    succession des êtres organisés sur le globe

    de Candolle, A. (1855). Géographie botanique raisonnée, 2 vols.: I, XII.

    Succession of forest trees

    Thoreau, H.D. (1860). Succession of forest trees. Mass. Board Agric. Rep. VIII (cf. New York Weekly Tribune 6 Oct.).


    Succession of species in forests

    Douglas, R. (1875). Succession of species in forests. Horticulturist 30, 138-40.



    Troll, C. (1963). Über Landschafts-Sukzession. Preface in: Bauer, H.J., Landschaftsökologische Untersuchungen im ausgekohlten rheinischen Braunkohlenrevier auf der Ville (=Arbeiten zur Rheinischen Landeskunde, H. 19); cf. Troll, C. (1966). Landschaftsökologie als geographischsynoptische Naturbetrachtung. In: Paffen, K. (ed.) (1973). Das Wesen der Landschaft, 252-67: 264.

  • 3) The sequence of ecological changes in which one group of plant or animal species is replaced by another. (OED)

    Denuded soils as a rule offer optimum conditions for ecesis as a result of the action of the previous succession, dormant seeds and propagules are abundant, and the revegetation of such habitats takes place rapidly and shows few stages. The former may be called primary succession, the latter secundary succession.

    Clements, F.E. (1905). Research Methods in Ecology: 241.

    the primary characteristic of the climax is its relative stability, due to a dominance or relative equilibrium produced by the severe environmental and biotic selection and adjustment throughout the process of succession
    Adams, C.C. (1908). The ecological succession of birds. Auk 25, 109-153: 139.

    A peculiar developmental succession evoked by increasing dryness is exhibited in Lapland

    Warming, E. (1895/1909). Oecology of Plants: 360.


    Plant Succession

    Clements, F.E. (1916). Plant Succession. An Analysis of the Development of Vegetation.


    Ecological succession is the orderly process of community change; it is the sequence of communites which replace one another in a given area. Typically, in an ecosystem, community development begins with pioneer stages which are replaced by a series of more mature communites until a relatively stable community is evolved which is in equilibrium with the local conditions. The whole series of communities which develop in a given situation is called the sere; the relatively transitory communities are called seral stages or seral communites, and the final or mature community is called the climax.

    Odum, E.P. (1953). Fundamentals of Ecology: 187. 


    Ecological succession […] culminates in a stabilized ecosystem in which maximum biomass (or high information content) and symbiotic function between organisms are maintained per unit of available energy flow

    Odum, E.P. (1969). The strategy of ecosystem development. Science 164, 262-70: 262.