In community ecology, succession refers to both the change of one or more species in an area over given period of time, or the creation of a new niche. In primary succession, plants and animals immigrate gradually to a virtually lifeless area without soil, such as the arrival of small plants and animals to an area after a wildfire. Succession can take place through secondary succession, when an outside species with a similar niche replaces an existing species in a disturbed community where the soil has remained intact. When a once used lot in an urban environment becomes abandoned an area is left behind that has retained its ground soil. Soon, local fauna begin to inhabit the area, creating the foundations of an micro-community. This change in the food chain creates a ripple effect on the tertiary or quaternary consumers.
The energy flow between organisms is called the trophic structure, or the feeding relationships among the organisms. This trophic structure has links, which are organized into trophic levels. These levels consist of organisms who range from primary producers to quaternary consumers (homo-sapiens). When energy passes from one trophic level to the next only 10% of the energy is transfered, and 90% is expelled as heat. This energy-loss allows an exponential amount more energy for primary producers such as grass then to tertiary consumers such as wolves.
Limiting factors (also known as limiting resources) are those that are necessary for a process to occur. Light is necessary for the process of photosynthesis, and often is a limiting factor in this process. For example, in an aquatic environment, the available amount of light limits the depth that plants like sea kelp can inhabit. There are two types of limiting factors: density-dependent and density-independent. Density dependent factors have a greater influence as the population density increases. Density-independent factors are not affected by population-density...