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A hydrosere is a plant succession which occurs in a freshwater lake. In time, an area of open freshwater will naturally dry out, ultimately becoming woodland. During this change, a range of different landtypes such as swamp and marsh will succeed each other.

The succession from open water to climax woodland is likely to take at least two hundred years. Some intermediate stages will last a shorter time than others. For example, swamp may change to marsh within a decade or less. How long it takes will depend largely on the amount of siltation occurring in the area of open water.


Hydrosere is the primary succession sequence which develops in aquatic environments such as lakes and ponds. It results in conversion of water body and its community into a land community. The early changes are allogenic as inorganic particles such as sand and clay are washed from catchment areas and begin filling the basin of the water body. Later, remains of dead plants also fill up these bodies and contribute to further changes in the environment.

If water body is large and very deep, a strong wave action is at work, therefore in these bodies a noticeable change cannot easily be observed. However, in smaller water body such as a pond the succession is easily recognizable. Different plant communities occupy different zones in a water body and exhibit concentric zonation. The edges of the water body are occupied by rooted species, submerged species are found in the littoral zone and plankton...
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