Ecological Succession: Definition, Types, Characteristics, Causes - GeeksforGeeks (2023)

An environment creates and balances through the course of biological progression. It is a breakthrough in constructing the species from a long-term biological locus of apioneer communitywhich is first placed in a barren land for theculmination of community🇧🇷 Biologists have significant strengths in understanding how communities are structured and change over time. In fact, they invested tons of energy watching complex forest-like communities emerge from bare earth or exposed rock. For example, they examine travel destinations where volcanic eruptions, retreating ice sheets or forest fires have occurred, land has been cleared or rocks have been discovered. By focusing on these long-term fates, scientists have observed constant cycles of progress in ecological communities. In general, an emerging local area in a troubled region undergoes a progression of common movements, often over several years. This series of changes is called ecological succession.

Ecological succession is a series of changes in an ecological system over a period of time.

It can also be described as the sequence of colonization of species in an ecosystem of barren or barren land. Ecological succession is an extremely essential mode of development and improvement of an ongoing biological ecosystem in general. It also ensures that new regions are populated and degraded biological systems are repopulated so that living beings can finally adapt to the constant climate changes and continue to survive well.

The slow and moderate evolution of living organisms in a random region in relation to their changing environmental elements and ecological succession. An expected change is observing the biotic parts, climate being an inevitable part of them. Goals of ecological succession to achieve a balance in the environmental system. This is accomplished through a community called the Climax Community. In order to achieve this sign of harmony, the number of species is constantly changing. The region where the community undergoes a specific change is called the Sere. All of the communities that surround us have undergone environmental evolution since their reality was discerned. Development in this way is a process that occurs concurrently with ecological succession.

The two main types of ecological succession. The following stages of ecological succession are discussed below:

primary successor

Ecological Succession: Definition, Types, Characteristics, Causes - GeeksforGeeks (1)

It begins in an empty region that has never had any vegetation, with no living beings anywhere. Some significant regions discovered are newly discovered seabed, molten rock, sand ridges, newly cooled magma sediments, newly submerged regions, etc. Since there is no debris, these rocks have been separated by microorganisms and decomposed to frame the soil. This is a cycle called erosion. The soil then becomes the basis of vegetation. Most often, it takes a few hundred to 1,000 years to design a local biotic area based on foundation and environment. These plants help various creatures, evolving from primary ecosystem to climax community. The moment the primary ecosystem is erased, a secondary succession takes place.

secondary succession

Ecological Succession: Definition, Types, Characteristics, Causes - GeeksforGeeks (2)

(Video) Ecological Succession: Nature's Great Grit

It begins in regions that have somehow lost all living organic entities that existed there. Since there is some dirt or scum, the progress is faster. Forest fires, floods, avalanches, earthquakes, etc. can cleanse the vital biological system. After such an annihilation, the course of progression will follow in the future from the new natural conditions. Small plants emerge first, followed by larger plants. Tall trees block daylight and alter the structure of creatures under the rim. Finally, the Climax community comes into play. It takes fifty to a hundred years to complete a meadow and another hundred to two years to cultivate a forest.

cyclical sequence

It does this in a community by changing the makeup or structure of the biological system in a cyclic premise called cyclic succession. There are some plants that are dormant for most of the year but emerge at the same time. This can cause primary varieties in the environment.

Features of ecological succession

Ecological succession has the following characteristics:

  • Ecological succession is a systematic process.
  • It involves changes in the structure of species and also builds up species diversity.
  • Succession occurs due to changes in the actual climate and population of the species.
  • The ecological successions that occur are directed and take place as an element of time.
  • It works in a stable environment.
  • The number of inhabitants in the decaying parts becomes enormous.
  • Progress is measurable.
  • Simple food chains are being replaced by complex food chains.

serial community

A series community is a transitional phase of ecological succession to the climax community. An arid or seral community is represented as the movement of developmental stages of an ecological community from pioneer to climax. The series community is replaced by the successor community. It includes established food webs and food chains. It has an extremely low level of diversity. The species are less numerous and the complements are also smaller. The different types of series are mentioned below:

  • Xerose: This succession occurs in arid areas such as Lithosera, Psammosera and Halosera rocks.
  • Hydrosera: This type of succession begins in aquatic habitat and progresses from aquatic to mesic conditions.
  • Lithosere: This type of ecological succession develops on exposed rock faces.
  • Psammosis: This type of ecological succession begins in the sand.
  • Halosere: Plant rotation starting in saline soil and saline water.
  • Until then: This type of succession starts in a dead matter of microorganisms.
  • Eosere: This type of succession shows the progress of vegetation over a period of time.

Stages of ecological succession

This interaction includes the following steps:


Vacant country development with almost no life. This may be due to some variables such as volcanic eruption, avalanches, floods, decay, seismic tremors, wildfires, disease spread, etc.

invasion or intrusion

It is the effective basis for animal categories in an arid region.

  • The appearance of reproductive bodies or reproductive organs of different species and their settlement in the new or discovered region occurs through air, water, etc., which is known as migration.
  • The change in disposition of species with framework conditions is referred to as ecesis.
  • At this point, then, the single species doubles by reproduction and increases in number; This is called aggregation.

competition and coercion

(Video) Ecological Succession - Types and Causes of Ecological Succession - Simple description - EVS 🌱🌱🌱

After aggregation, the number of animal groups competes with other different species for food, space, and various goods. Intra- and interspecific competition takes place together with climate cooperation. There is a new invasion of plants and living beings.


The change in climate caused by the influence of living beings on the climate is called a reaction.


The stage at which the maximum or maximum local area equilibrates appropriately over a long period of time in that particular climate is called stabilization.

Causes of ecological succession

There are three main types of causes for environmental progression. These are the following:

  • initial causes: These causes include both biotic and climatic causes. It has factors like decay or erosion, wind, fire, catastrophic events, etc. These causes have a strong impact on the population in that area.
  • Ecesis or external causes:These causes are also called processes with causes. These can change the population to adapt to some climate conditions. It contains some elements like aggregation, competition, reallocation, etc.
  • climatic cause:It has some variables like idea of ​​climatic state of zone, fertility of land and richness of mineral availability etc.

Examples of ecological succession

Examples of ecological succession are:

  • Ecological Succession of Coral Reefs:Small coral developments colonize the rocks. These polyps develop and open to form coral colonies. The condition of the coral reefs attracts small fish and shellfish that serve as food for larger fish. In this way, an all-round usable coral reef is framed.
  • the tropical forestsThey are examples of secondary succession, where forests have been cleared for timber and rural needs. The recovery here was done at different speeds and it took a lot of time for a local area to fully recover.
  • Acadia National Park:This national park faced a feared wildfire that spread quickly. Restoring the forest has been left in the hands of Mother Nature. In the years that followed, only small plants developed in the scorched earth. After some time, the forests showed a variety of tree species. In any event, trees before the fire were generally evergreen, while trees that developed after the fire were deciduous.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Why is ecological succession important?


The importance of ecological succession is as follows:

(Video) Ecological Succession-Primary and Secondary

  • Shows the method of grouping biotic progression. Biologists can quickly see the serial phase of a biotic community in space.
  • It helps to know data on the methods to be used in reforestation and afforestation.
  • Information about biotic progression is used to prevent the development of dominance in a space and to control the development of at least one animal species.
  • Safety of the dam, prevention of sedimentation and biotic succession.

Question 2: What types of successor communities are there?


There are three main types of successor communities:

  • pioneer communityis the one who comes first in an unsuccessful or vacant region. Some of them are stone lichens, phytoplankton and zooplankton in lakes. They can survive in the most antagonistic climate.
  • culmination of communityit is the last community of biotic succession, something constant and in harmony with the climate of that region, called the climate community. For example forests.
  • Transitional or serial communitiesthey are the ones who follow the pioneer community. Incorporate mosses, herbs, shrubs in xerosisre, recessed, floating, etc. in lakes. They are the ones who contribute the most to the development of a stable community.

Question 3: What is Sere and its types?


The whole set of communities that occur in biotic succession is called a sera. A series community is a transitional phase of ecological succession to the climax community. An arid or seral community is represented as the movement of developmental stages of an ecological community from pioneer to climax. It consists of simple food chains and food webs. The different types of series are mentioned below:

  1. Xerose
  2. Hydrosera
  3. Lithosere
  4. Psammosis
  5. Halosere
  6. Until then
  7. Eosere

Question 4: Difference between primary and secondary succession?


Here is the difference between primary and secondary sequences:

Withinprimary successor, the event takes place in sleepy or desolate regions. Some examples are exposed rocks, lakes, deserts, etc. Soil is absent early in primary succession and the climate is not suited to support typical life forms. Moderately slow, lasting about millennia or more. The primary succession is considerably more difficult to identify than the secondary succession. while insecondary successionOccurs in regions that have been recently settled. Examples are natural disasters, covert logging, etc. Soil is available early in secondary succession for certain life forms. Moderately fast, lasting about fifty to two hundred years, easy to notice.

(Video) Ecological Succession and Its Types

Question 5: What are the different stages of ecological succession?


The steps of the mechanism involved in the process of ecological succession are as follows:

  • Nudity: Development of bare or desolate areas devoid of any form of life.
  • Invasion: establishment of a species in an arid area.
  • Competition and coercion: Species compete with other organisms for food, space, and other resources.
  • Response: Change in environment.
  • Stabilization: The last phase in which the community becomes stable.

Question 6: What is autogenous and allogeneic inheritance?


  • autogenous succession:Once biotic succession begins, current vegetation is blamed for its own replacement by new communities as current natural conditions change. This course is called autogenous succession.
  • allogeneic succession:In allogeneic succession, the current community is displaced by other external conditions rather than the existing vegetation itself.

Question 7: Name a real event of ecological succession.


The volcanic island of Surtsey lies off the coast of Iceland. In 1963 this island was created by emissions from the lava spring. After the ejection, the ground in particular trembled. Organisms and forms began to evolve in the stone. They began separating the stone to form the floor. Then the small herbs begin to bloom and develop. Later, more modest bushes begin to develop. The small creatures in the tunnels moved to disturb the soil as larger plants developed. After some time, trees begin to bloom and develop where there was only stone.

my personal notesarrow_fall_up

(Video) Ecological Succession: Change is Good - Crash Course Ecology #6


What is ecological succession and its characteristics? ›

Ecological succession is the process that describes how the structure of a biological community (that is, an interacting group of various species in a desert, forest, grassland, marine environment, and so on) changes over time.

What is ecological succession and types of ecological succession? ›

Ecological succession is the process by which the mix of species and habitat in an area changes over time. Gradually, these communities replace one another until a “climax community”—like a mature forest—is reached, or until a disturbance, like a fire, occurs. Ecological succession is a fundamental concept in ecology.

What are the main causes of ecological succession? ›

The main causes of ecological succession include the biotic, topographic, and climatic factors that can destroy the populations of an area. Wind, fire, soil erosion, and natural disasters include the climatic factors.

What are the characteristics of ecology? ›

Characteristics of a Community Ecology. Community ecology's main characteristics include diversity of species, growth form and structure, dominance, self-reliance, relative abundance, and trophic structure. Natural communities include a desert, a forest, and a pond.

What are characteristics of succession? ›

Ecological succession has the following characteristics:

(1) It results from modification of the physical environment of the community. (2) It is an orderly process of community development. (3) It involves changes in species structure and it increases diversity of species.

What are the 5 stages of ecological succession? ›

The ecological succession occurs in the five stages viz nudation, invasion, competition and coaction, reaction and stabilisation.

What are the types of succession and examples? ›

Types of Ecological Succession
  • Primary Succession. When the planet first formed, there was no soil. ...
  • Secondary Succession. The above graphic is an example of secondary ecological succession. ...
  • Cyclic Succession. ...
  • Acadia National Park. ...
  • Coral Reef Ecological Succession.
4 Oct 2019

What are the 4 steps of succession? ›

4 Key Steps to Succession Planning
  • Ensure succession management is “owned at the top”
  • Identify “key positions”
  • Assess talent.
  • Accelerate successor development.

What is ecological succession PPT? ›

Ecological Succession is the process of change in the species structure of an ecological community over a period of time. But, over a long period of time, the climate conditions of an ecosystem is bound to change. No ecosystem has existed or will remain unchanged over a Geological Time Scale.

What is succession in ecology PDF? ›

The occurrence of relatively definite sequence of communities over a long period of time in the same area resulting in establishment of stable community is called ecological succession.

What are the causes of primary and secondary succession? ›

Primary succession occurs in an environment without previous life, or a barren habitat. Secondary succession occurs in an area that had previously been inhabited but experienced a disturbance, such as a wildfire. The newly created volcanic island has no previous life, and is made of rock, devoid of soil.

What are the 5 characteristics of ecosystem? ›

There are several elements that make up an ecosystem, including vegetation, microbes, fauna, and the environment as a whole. Most ecosystems have well-defined soil, climate, vegetation, and fauna (or communities) and can adapt to, and change with, changes in the external environment.

What are the 5 types of ecology? ›

What are the different types of ecology? The different types of ecology include- molecular ecology, organismal ecology, population ecology, community ecology, global ecology, landscape ecology and ecosystem ecology.

What are the 3 characteristics of environment? ›

environmental characteristics: safety, amenity, accessibility, sociability, and attractiveness.

What is a primary characteristic of primary succession? ›

What is primary succession? Primary succession is ecological succession that begins in essentially lifeless areas, such as regions in which there is no soil or where the soil is incapable of sustaining life (because of recent lava flows, newly formed sand dunes, or rocks left from a retreating glacier).

What are 3 causes of secondary succession? ›

Secondary succession occurs when the severity of disturbance is insufficient to remove all the existing vegetation and soil from a site. Many different kinds of disturbances, such as fire, flooding, windstorms, and human activities (e.g., logging of forests) can initiate secondary succession.

What are the 7 stages of primary succession? ›

The labels I-VII represent the different stages of primary succession. I-bare rocks, II-pioneers (mosses, lichen, algae, fungi), III-annual herbaceous plants, IV-perennial herbaceous plants and grasses, V-shrubs, VI-shade intolerant trees, VII-shade tolerant trees.

What are the 3 types of succession? ›

Succession in aquatic habitat. Succession in dry habitat. Succession on a bare rock surface.

What are the 6 steps of succession are? ›

Six step guide to succession planning process
  • Identify key roles. ...
  • Develop competency /success profile for key roles. ...
  • Identify succession management options. ...
  • Assess development needs & identify gaps. ...
  • Create and implement the development plan. ...
  • Evaluate and monitor progress.
30 May 2019

What is a definition of succession? ›

noun. suc·​ces·​sion sək-ˈse-shən. : the order in which or the conditions under which one person after another succeeds to a property, dignity, title, or throne.

Who is a succession? ›

1. [noncount] : the act of getting a title or right after the person who had that title or right before you has died or is no longer able or allowed to have it. His succession to the throne occurred in 1603.

What is the most common type of ecological succession? ›

Secondary succession is more common and usually occurs faster than primary succession because the substrate is already present. Secondary succession occurs on a surface where an ecosystem has previously existed.

How long is ecological succession? ›

The process of primary succession can take hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In contrast, the process of secondary succession can reestablish an ecosystem's climax communities in as few as 50 years. The ecosystem's animal populations are also established more quickly during secondary succession.

What are the types of succession planning? ›

5 types of succession plans
  • Selling your business to a co-owner. ...
  • Passing your business on to an heir. ...
  • Selling your business to a key employee. ...
  • Selling your business to an outside party. ...
  • Selling your shares back to the company.

What is ecological succession Wikipedia? ›

Ecological succession is the process of change in the species structure of an ecological community over time. The time scale can be decades (for example, after a wildfire) or more or less.

Which is the first process of ecological succession? ›

The first stage of succession involves pioneer species. In primary succession, pioneer plants are those that can grow without soil, such as lichens.

What is ecological succession Upsc? ›

Model Answer. Ecological succession is the steady and gradual change in a species of a given area with respect to the changing environment. The succession moves towards achieving an equilibrium in the environment.

What is succession summary? ›

It premiered on June 3, 2018, on HBO. The series centers on the Roy family, the owners of Waystar RoyCo, a global media and entertainment conglomerate, who are fighting for control of the company amid uncertainty about the health of the family's patriarch, Logan Roy (Brian Cox).

What are the characteristics of secondary succession? ›

Secondary Succession:

It is characterised as a stage of re establishment of an ecosystem which existed earlier but was destroyed due to some natural calamities like fire, flood, etc. Such re establishment occurs due to the presence of seeds and organic matte' of biological community in soil.

What event causes secondary succession? ›

secondary succession, type of ecological succession (the evolution of a biological community's ecological structure) in which plants and animals recolonize a habitat after a major disturbance—such as a devastating flood, wildfire, landslide, lava flow, or human activity (e.g., farming or road or building construction)— ...

What are the types and characteristics of ecosystem? ›

The different types of the ecosystem include:
  • Terrestrial ecosystem. Forest ecosystem. Grassland ecosystem. Desert ecosystem. Tundra ecosystem.
  • Aquatic ecosystem. Freshwater ecosystem. Marine ecosystem.

What are the 7 main types of ecosystems? ›

The major types of ecosystems are forest, desert, rain forest, grassland, tundra, savanna and mountain ecosystem.

What are the 4 main types of ecosystems? ›

The four ecosystem types are classifications known as artificial, terrestrial, lentic and lotic. Ecosystems are parts of biomes, which are climatic systems of life and organisms. In the biome's ecosystems, there are living and nonliving environmental factors known as biotic and abiotic.

What are the 3 types of ecological factors? ›

Ecological factors can be grouped into several categories including climatic factors, edaphic factors, biotic and topographic factors. Climatic factors include temperature, light, wind, water, and humidity. All these factors are needed in the optimal quantities for the proper growth and functioning of the organisms.

Who is the father of ecology? ›

Eugene Odum: The father of modern ecology.

What are the 3 main types of environment? ›

The three types of environment are: Internal environment. External macro environment. External micro environment.

What are 3 characteristics? ›

Some character traits reveal positive aspects of a person's underlying values or beliefs.
  • generosity.
  • integrity.
  • loyalty.
  • devoted.
  • loving.
  • kindness.
  • sincerity.
  • self-control.

What are main characteristics of environment? ›

A person's environment includes at least the following components: water, food, air, x rays, ultraviolet radiation, visible light, heat, life-style, pharmaceuticals, and health maintenance.

What are physical characteristic of the ecosystem? ›

Physical attributes can include temperature, hydrology, and physical habitat, as well as major physical events that reshape ecological systems, such as fires, floods, and windstorms. Chemical attributes can include pH, dissolved oxygen concentrations, and nutrients (e.g., nitrogen and phosphorus).

What is the main characteristic of a climax stage of ecological succession? ›

The climax phase of ecological succession is essentially a return to equilibrium in which species composition remains stable.

What are the characteristics of primary and secondary succession? ›

Primary succession occurs in an environment without previous life, or a barren habitat. Secondary succession occurs in an area that had previously been inhabited but experienced a disturbance, such as a wildfire. The newly created volcanic island has no previous life, and is made of rock, devoid of soil.

What is ecological succession example? ›

Example A - A dirt field is plowed and left over the summer. Over the summer, weeds start to grow on the field. After the weeds grow, small shrubs begin to take root. After a few years, trees begin to grow in the field.

What are the 4 types of succession? ›

What Are the Types of Succession in Biology?
  • Primary Succession. ...
  • Secondary Succession. ...
  • Allogenic Succession. ...
  • Degradation Succession.

What are the 3 stages of ecological succession? ›

Ecological succession breaks down into three fundamental phases: primary and secondary succession, and a climax state. The study of ecological succession generally focuses on the plants present on a particular site.

What is a characteristic of a primary producer? ›

'Primary producers (also called simply as producers) are the autotrophs capable of producing organic compounds from light energy or chemical energy (e.g. inorganic sources) through photosynthesis or by chemosynthesis, respectively. Primary producers are capable of manufacturing their own food.

What are primary characteristics? ›

The essential characteristics of a primary group are intimate feelings and close identification. These qualities are found more abundantly in some concrete groups than in others. In a primary group we directly co-operate with our fellows and our relations with them are intimately personal.

What is succession explain? ›

Succession is the change in either species composition, structure, or architecture of vegetation through time. Vegetation has three important aspects that are subject to change. Species composition includes the roster of the species. There can be many or few species in vegetation.


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