Ecological Succession vs Rural Succession
Whenever we see or hear the word succession, images of heirs to thrones of erstwhile empires and kingdoms flash across our eyes. Another context where the word is used is when property gets transferred in the name of sons and daughters of a deceased person and we say that succession of property has taken place. But this article pertains to ecological succession, which is an important concept in ecology and our environment. It is basically a process that takes place naturally and consists of stages that result in establishment of a final community. There are changes in both biological as well as physical components of a habitat as a result. The final community that is established with the help of changes brought about natural forces often works best. It is in this respect that this article tries to find out differences between ecological and rural succession.
Let us talk about changes that take place in a barren land that is not inhabited by human beings. Best examples of ecological succession in such circumstances are rocks and other inorganic material. This phenomenon is called as primary succession. In this case the environment lacks vegetation and soil and new substrate such as flowing lava or a new area left behind by retreating glaciers gets exposed. In case of lava flow, primary succession results in colonization of the area by pioneer species such as lichens or fungus and later by organic matter such as plants, grasses, ferns and herbs. In later stages animals are attracted to this ecosystem and a climax community gets established.
Secondary succession is a process where an environment is first cleared up and goes back to its earlier stage. For example, if wildfire destroys a part of a forest, it returns to its earlier stage containing grasses, weeds and shrubs. This is a situation that attracts herbivores that depend upon these plants for their food. All this while, the part of the forest that has not been burnt continues to support all the species that previously existed as well as carnivores that eat these herbivores.
Rural succession refers to planning that is needed to preserve rural communities. Many people do not know how farm lands and their continuance or discontinuation can have a big impact of rural economy. The future of agricultural farm land is often dependent upon the readiness of successors of these farm lands. The term has gained currency because of the alarming rate at which big farm lands are decreasing in the country because of young generation getting attracted towards professions other than farming. The importance of farming for rural communities can never be underestimated and this is where rural succession planning is essential. This helps people in rural communities to understand how important farming is for both rural as well as urban communities and also for sustainable development.
Difference Between Ecological Succession and Rural Succession
• Ecological succession is a natural process of changes while rural succession is a process of change brought about by planning through human intervention
• Ecological succession can be primary or secondary succession
• Rural succession is the need of the hour to help rural communities survive as more and more people are leaving their farmlands for other professions