AP Biology : Understand differences between primary and secondary succession

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Understand Differences Between Primary And Secondary Succession

Where does primary succession occur?

Possible Answers:

A currently inhabited environment

None of these

A previously inhabited environment 

An environment lacking plant and animal life

Correct answer:

An environment lacking plant and animal life

Explanation:

Primary succession is the colonizing of a new environment that lacks organisms and plant life. Primary succession is different from secondary succession; secondary succession is the colonizing of an environment that once supported life but was abandoned due to an ecological disturbance. An example of this is the colonizing of new land formed by lava flow.

Example Question #2 : Understand Differences Between Primary And Secondary Succession

Which of the following best describes when secondary succession occurs?

Possible Answers:

A previously inhabited environment

A currently inhabited environment

An environment lacking plant and animal life

All of these

Correct answer:

A previously inhabited environment

Explanation:

Secondary succession can be described as the colonization of a habitat that once supported plant and animal life but was abandoned due to ecological disturbance. Types of ecological disturbances such as hurricanes and floods can empty a habitat.

Example Question #1 : Understand Differences Between Primary And Secondary Succession

Which type of succession would be likely to occur in an area that has recently experienced a wildfire?

Possible Answers:

Revitalization

Primary succession

Secondary succession

Pioneering succession

Correct answer:

Secondary succession

Explanation:

Primary succession occurs in an environment without previous life, or a barren habitat. Secondary succession occurs in an area that had previously been inhabited but experienced a disturbance, such as a wildfire. In this scenario, there still would be soil.

Example Question #133 : Ecology

In an area with primary succession occurring, which type of wildlife would be likely to grow first?

Possible Answers:

Perennials

Pine trees

Oak trees

Lichen

Correct answer:

Lichen

Explanation:

Primary succession occurs in an environment without previous life, or a barren habitat. The first organisms to grow (called pioneer species) are fast growing, hardy species.

Example Question #3 : Understand Differences Between Primary And Secondary Succession

Where would primary succession likely occur?

Possible Answers:

In a forest where many trees were chopped down for logging purposes

In an environment recently burned by a wildfire

On a newly created volcanic island

In an environment that was recently flooded by a river

Correct answer:

On a newly created volcanic island

Explanation:

Primary succession occurs in an environment without previous life, or a barren habitat. Secondary succession occurs in an area that had previously been inhabited but experienced a disturbance, such as a wildfire. The newly created volcanic island has no previous life, and is made of rock, devoid of soil.

Example Question #4 : Understand Differences Between Primary And Secondary Succession

During primary succession, when are pioneer species likely to be found in an environment?

Possible Answers:

During the summer

Near early stages of succession

Near later stages of succession

When many nutrients are available

Correct answer:

Near early stages of succession

Explanation:

Pioneer species are the first species to colonize an environment, and thus would be found in the early stages of succession.

Example Question #5 : Understand Differences Between Primary And Secondary Succession

Which would not be a cause of secondary succession?

Possible Answers:

Flooding

Lava flow

Deforestation due to logging

Windstorm

Correct answer:

Lava flow

Explanation:

Primary succession occurs in an environment without previous life, or a barren habitat. Secondary succession occurs in an area that had previously been inhabited but experienced a disturbance, such as a lava flow. Secondary succession occurs in environments that have been distrubed, but have some remaining soil and vegetation.

Example Question #6 : Understand Differences Between Primary And Secondary Succession

The first species to inhabit an area after a disruption area called

Possible Answers:

pioneer species

keystone species

primary species

secondary species

Correct answer:

pioneer species

Explanation:

The first species to inhabit an area that has been disrupted are called pioneer species. This is true in both primary and secondary succession. These pioneer species are hardy species that can withstand harsh conditions.

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