THEORIES OF SUCCESSION

There are three theories of succession about climax communities:

  1. Monoclimax theory

This theory was put forward by an American ecologist Frederick Clements in 1916. According to this theory there is only one climax community in a climatic or geographical region. But topographic differences and different soil types form other communities in the same zone. These communities are known as subordinate communities. 1 he subordinate communities may be proclimax, postclimax, disclimax, preclimax, and subclimax communities.

(a)Proclimax: The community which is more or less stable resembling the climax community is called proclimax.

(b)Disclimas: The community disturbed by man or other animals is called disclimax community. Its example is grassland in forest area.

(c)Subclimax or preclimax: The community in which development is stopped in the subtinal matte of succession due to burning, cutting or grazing and flooding is called subclimax or preclimax community.

(d) Post climax: The community in which a strip of vegetation of higher life form is found within a climax is called post climax community. Its example is forest strip along a stream in grassland.

  1. Polyelimax Theory

“Ibis theory was put forward by European ecologists Nicholos. Champion and Whitaxer in 1953. According to this theory a number of different climax communities are present in climatic or geographical region. Thus preclimax, postelimax and disclimax communities are all climax communities. They are all self-reproducing communities. They can maintain themselves or an indefinite period of time. This theory does not rule out climax communities. But it gives other stages of communities as full status of climax communities. Thus these are not regarded as in minor communities


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  1. Climax Pattern Theory

This theory was put forward h Whitaker (1963). McIntosh (1958) and Sellech (1913). According to this theory the structure, composition and other characters of the climax communities are determined by the total environment of the ecosystem. It is not determined by single factor. Climax community is composed of an communities. These communities have close interrelationship the flora and fauna of the area soil and climate. A particular plant cannot survive. Its seeds must be properly distributed. Similarly an animal cannot survive without food of plants. The climatic climax is the m2st popular community. The community which expresses the climate of the area is called cilmatric community.

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