Primary and secondary succession


Primary and secondary succession


  • Succession is a community is created and changes over time
  • Both lead to a climax community- a stable community
  • Both communities start with pioneer species- the first species that are adapted to withstand extreme conditions


  • Primary succession develops a new community from scratch
  • Secondary succession happens on a previously existing community that has been cleared.
  • Pioneer species for secondary succession are adapted differently- they grow quickly, can disperse quickly and have a short life span

Overall comparison

Primary succession creates a new community such as by the seaside, where secondary succession develops a new community that has been cleared. These existing communities can be cleared by deforestation, burning or other human activity.


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