Secondary succession-Ecological Succession Stage


  • Secondary succession follows a major disturbance, such as a fire or a flood.
  • The stages of secondary succession are similar to those of primary succession; however, primary succession always begins on a barren surface, whereas secondary succession begins in environments that already possess soil.
  • In addition, through a process called old-field succession, farmland that has been abandoned may undergo secondary succession.

An example of Secondary Succession by stages:

􏰀  A stable deciduous forest community

􏰀  A disturbance, such as a wild fire, destroys the forest

􏰀  The fire burns the forest to the ground

􏰀  The fire leaves behind empty, but not destroyed, soil

􏰀  Grasses and other herbaceous plants grow back first

􏰀  Small bushes and trees begin to colonize the area

􏰀  Fast growing evergreen trees develop to their fullest, while shade-tolerant trees develop in the understory

􏰀  The short-lived and shade intolerant evergreen trees die as the larger deciduous trees overtop them. The ecosystem is now back to a similar state to where it began.

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