J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1977, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (2): -.

• Research Articles •    

Some Problems in the Study of Vegetation Succession

Hun She and Ghi Bei   

Abstract: The studies of vegetation succession are of great importance both in theory and in practice. Different viewpoints exist as to what theories to be adopted for studying vegetation successions. The influence of idealism and metephysics in certain cases are still very serious. The present paper attempts to analyse and discuss the following three problems. 1. On driving forces of vegetation succession: Two standpoints are analysed and criticized, one is that the external environment's decisive role has been emphasized, and the other is to split connections between internal changes of community and external environmenal factors. The writers hold that, the fundamental cause of vegetation succession is the contradiction' within community, that is to say the contradictions exist between plant's populations, plants and other organisms, organic part and inorganic part, i.e. plant environment of the community. Although external environment is the necessary condition in vegetation succession it becomes operative only through internal contradiction within community. 2. On the "equilibrium" and "stability" in vegetation succession: Analysing and criticizing the viewpoints, which are stated by the theories of monoclimax, polyclimax and cyclic succession, that the climax community is no longer in development barring a change of external environmental condition, and the cyclic succession takes place in a regularly repeated order and repeating itself as the same kind of community only. For both community and environment are changing succesively, the final stable and unchangeable climax never exists in nature. However it is impossible to deny the phenomenon of relative, equilibrium and relative stability in' developmental processes of vegetation. The processes of whole succession are processes of building equilibium and breaking it continuously. 3. On the "continuity" and "discontinuity" of vegetation: Analysing the evidences from which the two opposing viewpoints are based upon. The writers hold that, both sides of controversy are only to look at the thing's one aspect but neglect the other and without understanding of the dialectic relations between continuity and interruption. On one hand, we must realize the continuous development of community and on the other, there, are many stages in developmental processes. In that of time former and latter are both in connection and in that of space both in continuity and in interruption.

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