What Is Ecological Succession?

Ecological succession is the process by which the species structure of a given biological community evolves over time. The two types of succession are primary and secondary.

Ecological succession results in a change in the number and type of species, both plant and animal, in a given ecosystem. Species that are better adapted become more abundant, while others dwindle. It is the impact of established species on their environment that drives ecological succession. Disturbances, such as the introduction of a new species or a natural disaster, alter succession in a community. A climax community is one that has reached a state of equilibrium. A few species dominate, and succession is at a standstill.