Primary Succession - Community Change
In primary succession on a terrestrial site the new site is first colonised by a few hardy pioneer species that are often microbes, lichens and mosses. The pioneers over a few generations alter the habitat conditions by their growth and development. These new conditions may be conducive to the establishment of additional organisms that may subsequently arrive at the site. The pioneers through their death any decay leave patches of organic matter in which protists and small animals can live.
'The organic matter produced by these pioneer species produce organic acids during decomposition that dissolve and etch the substratum releasing nutrients to the substratum. Organic debris accumulates in pockets and crevices, providing soil in which seeds can become lodged and grow. As the community of organisms continues to develop, it becomes more diverse and competition increases, but at the same time new niche opportunities develops. The pioneer species disappear as the habitat conditions change and invasion of new species progresses, leading to the replacement of the preceding community. Similarly, primary succession in aquatic habitat also develops through a number of seral communities.