Poorter, L. et al. (2023) Successional theories. Biol Rev. https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12995


Succession is a fundamental concept in ecology because it indicates how species populations, communities, and ecosystems change over time on new substrate or after a disturbance. A mechanistic understanding of succession is needed to predict how ecosystems will respond to land-use change and to design effective ecosystem restoration strategies. Yet, despite a century of conceptual advances a comprehensive successional theory is lacking. Here we provide an overview of 19 successional theories (‘models’) and their key points, group them based on conceptual similarity, explain conceptual development in successional ideas and provide suggestions how to move forward.


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Poorter, Lourens