Freshwater Biomes


Primary Succesion: Definition


An ecological succession that occurs following an opening of uninhabited, barren habitat or that occurs on an environment that is devoid of vegetation and usually lacking topsoil (W15).

In open freshwater, such as a lake or pond, the water is too deep for plants to take root. The most common succession is a Hydrosere. This is a succession that begins in water (W14). It is the process by which a freshwater ecosystem will turn into a woodland (refer to figure 1). 


Fig 1: Shows the process of hydrosere, where freshwater turns to a woodland. 
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Secondary Succession 

Secondary Succesion: Definition


The ecological succession that occurs on a preexisting soil after the primary succession has been disrupted or destroyed due to a disturbance that reduced the population of the initial inhabitants (W15).

If the succession is halted before it reaches a climax community, secondary succession occurs (W13). Fires, pollution, human interruption, disease, and climate change can all cause secondary succession to occur.  Secondary succession may also alter the final climax community. Rooted plants increase the sedimentation, and nutrients that are available (W#). They change the micro-environment, allowing reeds, fen, car, and oak to increase their tolerance of the thickening and dying soil (see figure 2) (W13).


Figure #2: Rooted plants change the micro-environment, allowing reeds, fen, and car to grow in the thick and dead soil.
(Image source:

Climax Community

Climax Community: Definition

The last stage in ecological Succession. An ecosystem in which populations of all organisms are in balance with each other and with existing abiotic factors (W15).

Climax community occurs when all organisms are in harmony with each other, and the abiotic factors that exist in the biome. Abiotic factors that effect the freshwater ecosystem include salinity, depth, temperature, and exposure to sunlight (W14)