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study of the relationships of organisms to their physical environment and to one another. The study of an individual organism or a single species is termed autecology; the study of groups of organisms is called synecology.
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the transfer of rights and duties from one person to another, for example, from a deceased person to his heirs or from organizations that have amalgamated to the new organization arising from their merger. Succession means a change in the subject, not in the content, of existing rights and obligations. The legal successor acquires the same rights and obligations that the predecessor had. Succession is a derivative acquisition of rights and duties, as opposed to original acquisition, where the right of a given person is not based on the right of the predecessor.
Succession may be either universal or singular. In the first case all the rights and duties pass to the successor or successors. For example, in legal inheritance all the property of the deceased, no matter what form it takes or where it is located, passes to the heirs. Singular succession involves the transfer of particular rights or duties. For instance, a creditor who has the right to receive a sum of money from a debtor may give this right to a third person, who becomes the singular successor of the given right.
Succession is not permitted with respect to certain strictly personal rights. For example, the right to receive alimony or the obligation to write a literary work cannot be transferred.
(preemstvennost’), in the process of development, the connection between phenomena, in which the new replaces the old but retains some elements of it. Succession is one of the manifestations of the dialectic of the law of the negation of the negation and of the transformation of quantitative into qualitative changes.
Succession is universal and objective, appearing in nature, in society, and in cognition. In society there are two different aspects of succession: the transmission of social and cultural values from one generation to another and from one social formation to another, and the acquisition and assimilation of these values by each new generation or social system. Succession is the special mechanism of “social memory,” which collects and stores cultural information from the past, laying the foundation for the creation of new values. Succession may be continuous— for example, when the cultural values of the past are permanently operative in society. It may be discrete, when certain values disappear temporarily from cultural usage.
Succession implies the totality of the ways in which tradition operates to reproduce in the present the norms of social behavior characteristic of a historical social reality. In connection with this, it is necessary to distinguish between the inheritance of genuine cultural values and the retention of negative vestiges of the past.
Marxism-Leninism is equally opposed to a leftist anarchist denial of the culture of the past and to an uncritical attitude toward that culture. All social institutions for education and upbringing are based on the principle of succession, which is also important in biology (seeHEREDITY).
V. A. KRUGLIKOV
in biology, the process of change by which certain phytocenoses (biocenoses and biogeocenoses) are succeeded by others in a given habitat.
A distinction is made between primary and secondary succession. Primary succession occurs in areas without a soil covering, and secondary succession, on sites occupied by disrupted biotic communities, where the soil and some living organisms have been preserved. An example of primary succession is the gradual covering of land with loose sand, detritus, and shallow water; an example of secondary succession is the establishment of plant and animal life on idle fields, in cleared areas of forests, and on other types of abandoned farmland.
Succession may be caused by the interaction of organisms with one another and with the environment; causative factors include the displacement of some species by others with bioecological advantages, the consumption of certain plant species by animals, the presence of destructive insects, and changes in the physical and chemical properties of soil that are caused by living organisms. Environmental changes causing succession include changes in climate and in water supply. Such human activities as drainage, irrigation, the clearing of forests, the tilling of land, the grazing of cattle, and the building of cities may also result in succession.
The replacement of one phytocenosis (biocenosis or biogeo-cenosis) by another during succession constitutes a successional series. If the natural course of a succession is not interrupted, a climax is attained, that is, a relatively stable community is established with an equilibrium between the flora and fauna and the environment. If there is no interference from without, the community may endure indefinitely.
The study of succession and of its causative factors is of great importance for the rational utilization of natural resources and the establishment of cultivated biogeocenoses.
REFERENCESSukachev, V. N. Rastitel’nye soobshcheslva, 4th ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1928.
Shennikov, A. P. Vvedenie v geobotaniku. Leningrad, 1964.
Rabotnov. T. A. Lugovedenie. Moscow, 1974.
V. D. ALEKSANDROVA