ecological succession hawaii

explanatory Essay
1106 words
1106 words

Have you ever wondered how the beautiful Hawaiian Islands transformed from barren volcanic rocks to magnificent green islands filled with forests, animals, and insects? It all happened through a complex process called Ecological Succession, in which organisms gradually populate land that was just created or has undergone a change or , such as the volcanic Hawaiian Islands. Ecological Succession is one of the forces shaping the Hawaiian Islands, and allowing them to thrive.
The Hawaiian Islands were created by lava flows of volcanoes. The Earth is made up of tectonic plates that move all the time. Sometimes, magma rises up in the middle of a plate until it erupts on the seafloor, forming a hot spot. This creates volcanoes, and those volcanoes grow until they rise above sea level, and create volcanic islands. This process is how all Hawaiian Islands were created. Even though the hot spot itself doesn’t move, the tectonic plate it is on does, and therefore the continuous shifting creates many small volcanic islands along the way. This fact is shown in an article by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, “as the plate moved over the hot spot, the string of islands that make up the Hawaiian Island chain were formed” (“How did the Hawaiian Islands form?”). The Hawaiian Islands archipelago contains a total of 132 islands, reefs, and seamounts stretching over 1,500 miles, caused by the movement of the Pacific Plate. This movement takes the plate to the northwest at a rate of 5-10 cm/yr, creating a big difference over time. The Hawaiian hot spot is currently located under the largest Hawaiian Island, Big Island, which was formed by a total of 5 volcanoes. One of those, Mauna Loa, is known as the largest active volcano on Earth. ...

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...lts in an increasing population of non-native species, which in turn might oppose a threat in the years to come to the number of the native specie populations of the islands. Zimmerman et al. described that the islands’ “forests seem to be balancing between two opposing factors”, meaning that the native and the non-native plants are competing for space in their common ecosystem (1).
The Hawaiian Volcanic Islands were first formed through volcanoes that arose from the Hawaiian hot spot on the seafloor of the Pacific Plate. Organisms then populated the area through a long process called Primary Ecological Succession, which turned the islands into beautiful and verdant ecosystems. Since disturbances, either man-caused or natural, are always affecting those ecosystems, Secondary Ecological Succession is in perpetuate use to enable the Hawaiian Islands to thrive.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains how the hawaiian islands transformed from barren volcanic rocks to magnificent green islands filled with forests, animals, and insects through a complex process called ecological succession.
  • Explains how the hawaiian islands were created by lava flows of volcanoes. the volcanic hot spot is located under the largest hawaiian island, big island.
  • Explains that a type of ecological succession occurs in different stages, starting from pioneer species all the way to climax communities.
  • Explains that ecological succession doesn't stop when a climax community is reached, but continues under the form of secondary succession.
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