Evaluate the Relative Roles of Natural Succession and Human Activities in the Creation of Ecosystems in the British Isles (40marks).

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Without human activity and if the climate of the British Isles were to stay the same the whole place would reach climatic climax of oak/ash/beech deciduous woodland. It depends on the soil type as to which climatic climax species is present. However, many factors such as human intervention and climate can cause changes to plant succession in an ecosystem. Succession is the evolution of a plant community from its pioneer species to its climax community. All the living and non-living things living within a certain area is known as an ecosystem. Primary and secondary succession will both affect the rate at which an area will reach climatic climax. Primary succession is when plants colonise an area for the very first time, such as after the ice age once the ice had melted leaving behind bare rock where the pioneer species of mosses and lichens could begin to grow. This is known as lithosere primary succession, this will eventually lead to a climax community however, this will take a very long time due to the environment being very hostile and there being very little or no soil present. Primary succession isn’t likely to occur in the UK as there isn’t much bare rock left. Secondary succession is when an area that was once colonised by plants, then the plants are suddenly removed. For example in a forest fire, as a result of this succession has to start again. Secondary succession is much faster than primary succession and will reach climatic climax much sooner. This is because there will still be a lot nutrients and soil left behind from the previous ecosystem. Therefore less ammonification and nitrification will be needed as the soil will already be suitable for more complex plant species. Natural succession can therefore be altered by both nature and human intervention, take stud land bay psammosere ecosystem for example that is deliberately cut back so that you can

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