Ecological succession, is the process by which a specific ecology has more or less orderly and predictably changed after a disturbance like a fire. In long-term studies, there is a species succession process in the way forests develop.
Several scientists are prominent in the history of this process theory:
- Adolphe Dureau de la Malle was the first to use of the word succession. He described the process of re-growth after trees in a forest had been cut down.
- Henry David Thoreau described succession in an Oak-Pine forest in "The Succession of Forest Trees" in 1859.
- Henry Chandler Cowles developed a formal concept of plant growth succession. His work was based on studies of sand dunes in Danish by Eugen Warming. Cowles proposed the term sere. This is a repeatable sequence of changes which are identified in specific environmental circumstances.
- Frederic Clements proposed a theory that seres were highly predictable.
- Henry Gleason proposed that chance factors were very important, even in highly predicable sere settings.
- Connell, Joseph and R. O. Slatyer. (1977). "Mechanisms of succession in natural communities and their role in community stability and organization," The American Naturalist, Vol. 111, Issue 982, pp. 1119–44.
- McEvoy, Thom. (2004). Positive Impact Forestry, p. 32.
- Goldsmith, Edward. "Ecological Succession Rehabilitated," The Ecologist, Vol. 15, No. 3, 1985; retrieved 2011-12-19.