What is a disturbance in ecological succession?
Explanation: The correct answer is A) An event that alters or destroys an ecosystem. A disturbance refers to an event or process that disrupts the structure and composition of an ecosystem. Disturbances can be natural, such as wildfires, storms, or volcanic eruptions, or human-induced, such as logging or land clearing. Disturbances play a critical role in shaping successional dynamics by creating opportunities for new species to colonize and influencing the direction and pace of ecological succession.
Which of the following is an example of a primary succession?
Explanation: The correct answer is B) A pond filling in with sediment over time. Primary succession occurs in areas that are devoid of life, such as newly formed land or bare rock. In the case of a pond filling in with sediment, the process starts with the colonization of algae and other small organisms. Over time, sediment accumulates, creating suitable conditions for the establishment of plants and eventually leading to the formation of a terrestrial ecosystem.
How do disturbances influence successional dynamics?
Explanation: The correct answer is C) They reset the successional stage to an earlier phase. Disturbances can reset the successional stage to an earlier phase by removing or damaging the existing vegetation. This creates opportunities for new species to colonize and start the successional process again. In this way, disturbances can influence the direction and pace of successional dynamics, shaping the composition and structure of the subsequent community.
Which of the following is an example of secondary succession?
Explanation: The correct answer is B) A forest recovering after a logging operation. Secondary succession occurs in areas where an existing community has been disturbed or partially destroyed, but the soil is still intact. In the case of a forest recovering after logging, the remaining seed bank, root systems, and soil provide a foundation for the regeneration of vegetation. The successional process begins with the establishment of pioneer species and progresses toward the restoration of the pre-disturbance community.
Which of the following factors can affect successional patterns?
Explanation: The correct answer is D) All of the above. Successional patterns can be influenced by multiple factors, including climate change, species interactions, and soil fertility. Climate change can alter the timing and intensity of disturbances, affecting the frequency and trajectory of successional processes. Species interactions, such as competition and facilitation, can shape community composition and successional pathways. Soil fertility, including nutrient availability and organic matter content, influences the establishment and growth of plant species, which, in turn, impact successional dynamics.