Phytoplankton: Directional Succession and Forced Cycles

  • U. Sommer
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 85)


Plankton communities undergo conspicuous temporal change in species composition. Such change occurs over long-term scales in water bodies undergoing environmental change (e.g., eutrophication) and within individual years. The latter has been termed “seasonal succession” by plankton ecologists. Despite its cyclic character, plankton succession has more similarities with succession than with seasonal apsectation in terrestrial vegetation: Numerous generations are involved; the abundance of individual populations and, thus, the species composition of the community undergo drastic change; community composition passes several quite distinct stages; rescaled to the generation time of the organism and the duration time of stages several months of plankton succession are analogous to several centuries of forest succession.


Eutrophic Lake Plankton Community Spring Bloom Directional Succession Good Competitor 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Sommer
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für LimnologiePlönGermany

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