Primary succession is the succession that can be defined as the process of growth of the community in the area that was previously inhabited, barren, unoccupied and there was no initial vegetation found. On other hand, secondary succession is the succession that can be defined as the growth of the community in such areas that were previously occupied, inhabited, and that has primary vegetation but got disturbed or impaired due to some external or internal factors.
The example of primary sessions is the newly formed bare rocks, desert areas, and sand dunes, etc. whereas an example of secondary succession is the area covered under deforestation or affected by natural calamities such as flood, and earthquake.
Secondary Ecological Succession
The secondary session is one of the two types of ecological succession. In contrast to the primary succession, secondary succession definition states that it is the process started by an event (forest fire, harvesting, hurricane, etc) that minimizes an already settled ecosystem (i.e wheat field or a forest) to a smaller population of species, and as such secondary session occurs on already existing soil whereas primary succession occurs on a place lacking soil. The factors that occur in secondary succession are tropical interaction, initial composition, and competition colonization trade-offs. The factors that prevent an increase in an abundance of species during succession may be identified mainly by microclimate, seed production and dispersal, bulk density, ph, soil textures (sand and clay, etc.)
Define Secondary Succession
Secondary succession is an ecological succession that comes about after the initial succession has been disrupted and some plants and animals still exist. The secondary succession is usually faster than the primary succession because of the following reasons:
The soil is already present
Seeds, roots, and underground vegetative organs may still exist in the soil.
Secondary Succession Stages
Following are the steps of secondary succession stages:
An area of growth.
A disturbance such as fire begins.
The fire destroyed the vegetation.
The fire leaves behind empty but does not destroy the soil.
Grasses and other herbaceous plants grow back first.
Small bushes and trees started to colonize the public area.
Fastest growing evergreen tree and bamboo tree develops completely, while shade-tolerant trees develop in the understory.
The shorter-lived and shade-intolerant evergreen tree dies as the large deciduous trees overtop them. This ecosystem is not back to the stage where it started.
Secondary Succession Pioneer Species
Secondary succession occurs in formerly inhabited areas that were disturbed. The disturbance could be fire, flood, or human activities such as farming. This type of succession is rapid because the soil is already in place. The pioneer species in secondary succession are plants such as grasses, birch trees, and fireweed. Organic matters from secondary succession pioneer species improve the soil. This enables other plants to move into the areas. An example of secondary succession is shown in the figure given below:
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In the above secondary succession figure, two months after a forest fire, the plants that are new are already sprouting or budding the charred logs.
What is Primary Succession?
Primary succession is defined as a change in vegetation that takes place on previously unvegetated terrain. A few examples where primary succession comes about include the formation of new islands, new volcanic rock, and on land formed from glacier retreats. The initial conditions in primary succession are often harsh, with little or no soil present. The site condition changes slowly in response to the vegetation as soil grows.
The problem here is that primary succession occurs only on previously unvegetated terrain. However, if the soil continuously develops throughout time and there is a relation between vegetation and soil development, the primary succession never ends.
Primary Succession Examples
Primary succession can occur after the different events. This includes:
Secondary Succession Examples
Some examples of secondary succession slides:
Following are the key differences between primary succession and secondary succession.
Primary Succession and Secondary Succession Differences
Primary And Secondary Ecological Succession Facts
Primary succession is a series of community changes that occurs in an entirely new habitat and has never been colonized before. A newly quarried rock face or dunes is an example of primary succession.
Secondary succession occurs in an area that is previously colonized but disturbed or damaged habitat. For example, after falling a tree in the woods, land clearance, or a fire.
Succession will not move further than the climax community. This is the final stage of succession.
The most renowned example of succession deals with plant succession. It is worth remembering that as the plant community changes so will the associated microorganisms, fungus, and animal species. Succession includes the whole community rather than just the plant community.