# Diversity Graphing Activity

Soil Depth and Diversity Table for Primary Succession
Years
Soil Depth
Plants
1
15
35
60
80
100
130
0 cm
1 cm
3 cm
7cm
15 cm
30 cm
45 cm
Lichens
Mosses
Lichens, moss, grass
Grasses, annuals, herbs,
mosses
Grasses, annuals, herbs,
perennials, mosses
Perennials, herbs,
shrubs, berry bushes,
pine seedlings, mosses
Shrubs, berry bushes,
pine trees, understory
trees, hardwood
seedlings, mosses
Animals
insects
Insects, rodents, small
predators
Insects, rodents, ground
nesting birds, small
predators
Insects, rodents, ground
nesting birds, small
herbivores, small
predators
Insects, ground nesting
birds, tree nesting birds,
multiple small
herbivores, some large
herbivores, medium size
predators
Insects, tree nesting bird
species, small tree
dwelling herbivores,
small ground dwelling
herbivores, multiple
large herbivores,
medium predators,
large predators
tolerant berries, nut
bearing trees,
understory shrubs,
loving perennials,
climbing vines, mosses
Insects, tree nesting bird
species, small tree
dwelling herbivores,
small ground dwelling
herbivores, medium
herbivores, multiple
large herbivores,
medium predators,
large predators
Look at the “year” row of the table and compare it to the appropriate stage in the primary succession card sort. Notice the soil depth, plants and
animals that appear at each stage of succession. Graph soil depth and the number of plant and animal species at each stage of succession on the
graphs provided and then answer the questions that follow.
Changes in Soil Depth
Changes in Plant Diversity
Changes in Animal Diversity
1. How does the soil depth compare to that of secondary succession?
2. How does the speed of primary succession compare to secondary succession?
3. In which stage of secondary succession would you expect to see insects? Tree nesting birds? Large predators?
4. Try to match the cards to the stages of secondary succession. Which cards will you never be able to match to secondary succession? Why?
5. What happens to plant diversity (the number of different types of plants) as you progress through the stages of succession?
6. What happens to animal diversity (the number of different types of animals) as you progress through the stages of succession?
7. Using what you know about food webs, which stage of succession is likely to be the most stable? Explain using the following vocabulary:
succession, stability, diversity, resource, species, producer, consumer