What is the difference between primary and secondary succession?

  • Google+ icon
  • LinkedIn icon

Primary succession starts from bare rock, so no soil is present at the start. Over time the pioneer organisms (such as moss and lichen) break the rock and as the organisms die and decompose, the soil builds up. 

Secondary succession occurs when in an environment which had a little soil already. It happens when the previous community is lost, such as due to a forest fire

Sarah P. GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Biology tutor

About the author

is an online A Level Biology tutor with MyTutor studying at York University

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist.

95% of our customers rate us

Browse tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss