In the process of primary and secondary succession, bare rock becomes covered with plants, as well as animals. At first there is little soil, so life is tenuous. As time goes by, the decomposers and small plants begin to wear down the bare rock, and the variety of life
Succession in bodies of water, especially fresh water ponds and lakes is similar to bare rock succession. The difference is that water replaces the rock. Decomposers such as worms depend on a moderate level of water in the soil to survive, so they cannot live in either of the first stages of bare rock succession or pond succession.
To help students gain an understanding of succession, the leader (teacher) will use the Project Wild Aquatic activity, Pond Succession, found on pages 66-68. A fieldtrip to a variety of natural environments in the various stages of succession would be a wonderful way to provide students with an opportunity to see these NATURAL environmental changes.
In this activity, students will:
- recognize that natural environments are involved in a process of continual change.
- discuss the concept of succession.
- describe succession as an example of the process of change in natural environments. AND
- apply understanding by drawing a series of pictures showing stages in pond succession.