Main distinction – major vs secondary Succession

Before analyzing the difference between primary and second succession, let us an initial see what is succession. There room two species of transforms that can take place in a ar as spatial changes and also temporal changes. Temporal changes refer to the changes at a given suggest in an are in a neighborhood (at a single location). These changes include diurnal changes, seasonal changes, and also other changes over a long period of time. Temporal alters are additionally of two species as, directional changes and non-directional changes. The directional alters in a neighborhood are dubbed succession (ecological succession). There space two main types of succession namely, primary succession and secondary succession. The main difference in between Primary and second succession is that primary sequence occurs in the land wherein there is no early vegetation conversely, secondary sequence occurs in a land that has actually primary vegetation.

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What is major Succession

Primary sequence is one ecological succession that takes place following an opening of uninhabited, infertile habitat, or that can additionally occur in an setting that is devoid of vegetation and also usually doing not have topsoil. Primary succession can be split into two types based top top the primary physical source of change.

Autogenic successionAllogenic succession

Autogenic succession

When the neighborhood itself alters its physical environment, that is referred to as as autogenic succession. Biological actions ~ above the setting (is had as degradative sequence as) is a type of autogenic succession.

Ex:. Fallen leaves

Fallen pipeline are very first colonized through fungi. Because of the secretion of enzymes by fungi, leaves get digested and soften. Then other fungi and also mites penetrate right into these leaves. Consequently microorganisms in the floor feed ~ above leaves and also fungi. Once the essential substrate is completely metabolized degradative sequence terminates.

Allogenic succession

Allogenic kind of sequence refers come the sequence in an answer to the transforms in the outside environment.

Ex: development of woodlands ~ a volcanic eruption (volcanic islands)

During a volcano eruption, heat and fire ruin life in the relevant areas. Then a brand-new layer of rock covers the currently land. This i do not care the brand-new landscape for the primary succession to take place. Climate pioneer homesteaders such as blue-green algae create on this floor initially. Dispersal methods promote algae and also lichens to establish on the land. The moist soil favors the facility of mosses and ferns in the area. The buildup of dead and decomposing organisms and erosion of rock by weathering result in soil formation. By this time, particle plants might reach the floor by the wind, water, or pets such together birds or bats. Finally, more nutrient-demanding particle plants consisting of grasses and shrubs and trees accounting the land.


What is second Succession

Secondary succession occurs as soon as the primary sequence land is disturbed by exterior or organic cause. Disturbances produce gaps and openings in ~ the area. Gaps deserve to be either small scale or big scale. The death of a single tree or team of trees can develop a gap in the forest. This create a space in the canopy and thereby in the substrate. In a gap, the irradiate intensity is high. Together a result, soil temperature and also nutrients rise while the floor moisture and relative humidity are low. The final result is an abundance of resources. Tiny gaps stimulate much more shade tolerant varieties to flourish whereas huge gaps favors suppressed seedling growth and also invading opportunistic to grow.

Furthermore, comprehensive land clearing and also fire can result in severe damages to the vegetation that already exist and therefore completely different ar can be established in the gap/area produced by together devastation.


There space similarities and also differences among primary and second succession. The main similarity is the both major and secondary succession space unidirectional. The difference between primary and second succession have the right to be summarized as below.

Difference in between Primary and secondary succession


Primary Succession is an ecological succession that bring away place adhering to an opened of uninhabited, infertile habitat. The can additionally occur in an environment that is there is no of vegetation and commonly lacking topsoil.

Secondary Succession is the ecological succession that takes location on a preexisting floor after the primary succession has been disrupted or destroyed due come a disturbance that lessened the population of the initial inhabitants.


Primary succession occurs in the land wherein there is no early stage vegetation.

Secondary succession occurs in a land that has actually primary vegetation.


Primary succession deserve to be initiated due to a organic factor or an outside factor.

Secondary succession starts as result of an exterior factor such as gap development by falling trees, fire, or land clearing.

Soil Cover

Surface soil cover is missing when primary succession starts.

Secondary succession occurs in locations where soil cover is present.


Primary succession floor favors the growth of all develops of flora (mosses, ferns, shrubs, trees).

Secondary succession greatly favors the invading methods to grow.

Pioneer Species

In primary succession, pioneer types come from outside environment.

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In secondary succession, pioneer species develop partially from present environment.


Primary succession needs much more time to complete. (1000 or more years)

Secondary succession take away comparatively much less time. (50 – 200 years)


Image Courtesy:

“AP biology – Primary succession Drawing” through Joshfn – very own work. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

“Secondary Succession” through Katelyn Murphy – own work. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons