1. Pioneer Species
2. Early Successional Species
3. Mid-Successional Species
4. Late Successional Species
5. Climax Community

Secondary succession

An example of secondary succession by stages:

  1. A stable deciduous forest community.
  2. A disturbance, like a fire, starts.
  3. Fire destroys vegetation.
  4. Fire leaves ground empty, but not destroyed.
  5. Grasses and other herbaceous plants grow back first.
  6. Small shrubs and trees begin to colonize the public area.
  7. Fast-growing evergreens and bamboo trees thrive fully, while shade-tolerant trees thrive in the understory.
  8. Short-lived, shade-intolerant evergreens die when larger deciduous trees overwhelm them. The ecosystem is now back to a state similar to where it started.

secondary succession is the secondary ecological succession of the life of a plant. Unlike the first, primary successionsecondary succession is a process initiated by an event (p. burned, harvest, drillingetc.) which reduces an already established ecosystem (e.g. a forest or a wheat field) to a smaller population of species, and as such secondary succession takes place in preexisting ground While primary succession usually occurs in a place without soil. Many factors can affect secondary succession, such as trophic interaction, initial composition and competition-colonization trade-offs. The factors that control the increase in abundance of a species during succession can be mainly determined by seed production and dispersal, microclimate; landscape structure (habitat patch size and distance from external seed sources); soil density, pH and soil texture (sand and clay).

Secondary succession is the ecological succession that occurs after the initial succession has stopped and some plants and animals still exist. It is usually faster than primary succession as the soil is already present and seeds, rootsand the underground vegetative organs of plants can still survive in the soil.



imperate grasslands are caused by human activities such as logging, clearing for shifting cultivation, agriculture and grazing, and also by frequent fires. The latter is a frequent result of human interference. However, when not maintained by frequent fires and human disturbance, they naturally and quickly regenerate into secondary young forest. The succession time in imperate pastures (e.g. in the Samboja Lestari area), Imperata cylindrica it has the greatest coverage, but becomes less dominant from the fourth year onwards. While imperate decreases, the percentage of shrubs and young trees clearly increases with time. In the burned plots, Melastoma malabathricum, Eupatorium inulaefolium, Ficus sp., and vitex pinnata. increase strongly with regeneration age, but these species are commonly found in secondary forest.

Soil properties change during secondary succession in the Imperata pasture area. The effects of secondary succession in the soil are strongest in the A horizon (0–10 cm (0.0–3.9 in)), where an increase in carbon stock, N, and C/N ratio and a decrease in bulk density and pH are observed. soil carbon stocks also increase in the secondary succession of imperate pasture to secondary forest.

  • Secondary succession in imperatedominated pastures
  • Restoration.png

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  • Secondary vitex.  png

Oak and walnut forest

A classic example of secondary succession occurs in Oak and walnut forests cleared by forest fires. Forest fires will burn most vegetation and kill animals unable to flee the area. Its nutrients, however, are returned to the soil in the form of ash. So even when areas are devoid of life due to severe fires, the area will soon be ready for new life to emerge. Before the fire, the vegetation was dominated by tall trees with access to the main plant energy resource: sunlight. Their height gave them access to sunlight while also shading the ground and other low-lying species. After the fire, however, these trees are no longer dominant. Thus, the first plants to grow back are usually annuals followed within a few years by fast-growing grasses and other pioneer species. Due, at least in part, to changes in the environment brought about by the growth of grasses and other species, over many years, shrubs will emerge along with small pines, oaks, and hickory trees. These organisms are called intermediate species. Eventually, over the course of 150 years, the forest will reach its equilibrium point where the species composition is no longer changing and resembles the pre-fire community. This equilibrium state is called the climax community, which will remain stable until the next perturbation.

The secondary succession of an oak and walnut forest

post-fire succession

Other information: fire ecology


The generation of carbonates from burnt plant material after fire disturbance causes an initial increase in soil pH that can affect the rate of secondary succession as well as what types of organisms will be able to thrive. Soil composition before fire disturbance also influences secondary succession, both in the rate and type of growth of dominant species. For example, a high concentration of sand has been found to increase the chances of Pteridium about imperate growth in imperate pasture. Combustion by-products have been shown to affect secondary succession by soil microorganisms. For example, certain species of fungi such as Trichoderma polysporum and Penicillium janthinellum have a significantly decreased success rate in germinating spores in fire-affected areas, reducing their ability to recolonize.


Vegetation structure is affected by fire. In some types of ecosystems, this creates a renewal process. After a fire, early successional species disperse and establish first. This is followed by late successional species. Species that are fire intolerant are those that are more flammable and are desolate by fire. More tolerant species are able to survive or disperse in case of fire. The occurrence of fire leads to the establishment of dead wood and hindrances in forests. This creates habitat and resources for a variety of species.

Fire can act as a seed dispersal stimulant. Many species require fire events to reproduce, disperse and establish themselves. For example, the knotty pine it has closed cones that open for dispersion when exposed to the heat caused by forest fires. It grows in clusters because of this limited method of seed dispersal. A fire-resistant outer bark and lack of low branches help the pine survive fire with minimal damage.


Source: Secondary succession

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1. Regeneration
2. Climax Community
3. Re-colonization
4. Pioneer Species
5. Re-vegetation
6. Soil Development
7. Successional Stages
8. Nutrient Cycling
9. Species Diversity
10. Ecological Restoration
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