In ecology, succession is the progressive, orderly change in a plant population during the development of vegetation, such as occurs in an abandoned field, which first becomes overgrown with weeds, then is progressively invaded by woody species until a climax vegetation of woodland develops; in all, this type of succession can take some 100 years. The term sere is often used to describe the sequence of plant communities; for example, lithosere describes the succession that starts on bare rock; hydrosere, one that starts with water. The term may be extended to include animal life as well; the process is then described as ending in a stable ecosystem known as a climax community.