Succession is the process by which this:
…turns to that:
It may be classified as primary succession or secondary succession. The difference is that the above is primary i.e. it begins with totally barren land devoid of any nutrients or other abiotic factors (water, wind, temperature) conductive to life thriving, while secondary succession occurs after an already-thriving community has been wiped out by natural disasters such as a wild fire.
Why make the distinction? In secondary succession, although it may look like all life is gone, the conditions needed for it to begin again more readily than in primary succession are there: plant seeds, plenty of nutrients in the soil and plant…