Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2006


Published in Great Plains Research 16:1 (Spring 2006). Copyright © 2006 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Used by permission.


Four primary phases to an ecosystem cycle involve the release of carbon, energy, and nutrients by insects, fire, grazing or other agents; reorganization of the primary resources by pioneer species; exploitation of resources (succession) and redevelopment of more complex ecological relationships; and storage (climax) of resources until an ecological driver initiates a new phase.