Difference Between Primary And Secondary Succession

Earth’s ecosystem is subjected to constant change due to various factors. In biology, when different natural communities come into existence and then get replaced, it is called ecological succession. Primary and secondary are two types of ecological succession. When natural communities are developed in a barren habitat with no soil or extremely less soil, it is called primary succession. Abiotic factors such as water, wind, and species like algae and lichen have a significant role to play in primary succession. Secondary succession is defined as the development of natural communities on land in the presence of soil but the absence of natural vegetation due to some natural calamities or human-induced activities. One best example of secondary succession is abandoned cropland. Below, we have discussed the difference between primary and secondary succession.

Difference between Primary and Secondary Succession

Primary Succession Secondary Succession
In areas which are lifeless or barren In areas which were previously inhabited or recently denuded
Time to complete
Around 1000 years or more Around 50 – 200 years
Humus is absent in the starting as there is no soil Presence of Humus due to the previous occupants and their decomposition
Dissolves in warm water Does not dissolve in water
The absence of soil in the initial process Presence of soil along with organisms
Seral community
There are many intermediary seral communities Few intermediary seral communities when compared to the primary succession
An unfavorable environment in the starting Since beginning the environment is favorable
Bare rock, ponds, desert, etc. The area affected by natural calamities, covered under deforestation, etc.

Hope you are now clear with the difference between primary and secondary succession. To know more about each of them separately in detail, register with BYJU’S – The Learning App

Some important links:

Responses to Abiotic Components Biotic and Abiotic


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