Primary ecological succession definition

How Communities of Living Organisms Colonize an Ecosystem
July 10, 2015 – 10:04 am

Ecological succession is the changing sequence of communities that live in an ecosystem during a given time period.

Ecological Succession - Biology Questions and Answers

2. What are pioneer species? What is the role of pioneer species?

Pioneer species are the first species that colonize places where there were previously no other living organisms, such as algae that colonize bare rocks. In general, pioneer species are autotrophs or maintain harmonious ecological interaction with autotrophic organisms(such as autotrophic bacteria, herbaceous plants, lichens).

A pioneer community is formed of species able to survive in hostile environments. The presence of these species modifies the microenvironment, generating changes in the abiotic and biotic factors of the ecosystem in formation. Therefore, they pave the way for other species to establish themselves at the location through the creation of new potential ecological niches.

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3. What is the difference between primary ecological succession and secondary ecological succession?

Primary ecological succession is the changing sequence of communities starting with the first biological occupation of a place where there were no living organisms previously. For example, the colonization and the following succession of communities on a bare rock is a case of primary ecological succession.

Secondary ecological succession is the changing sequence of communities starting with the substitution of a community by a new one in a given place. An example of this is the ecological succession of the invasion of plants and animals on an abandoned crop or land.

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