The idea that there is a sort of linear and predictable succession in an ecosystem, which in time moves from a PIONEER community through different, ever more complex communities (seres), towards a CLIMAX community, is well established in ecology. These climax communities may be called BIOMES and are characterised by their vegetation.
PRIMARY SUCCESSION starts from a lifeless base – eg: a barren lava flow after a volcanic eruption. (Cotopaxi?)
SECONDARY SUCCESSION starts from a base where there is life already but it has been interfered with. Commonly these interferences are the responsibility of humans – events such as land clearing or forest fires.
Ecological succession is well documented and the changes which occur are clearly defined. Nevertheless there are still plenty of questions which are difficult to answer, not least of which is whether there really is any such thing as a stable, climax community. Aren’t communities changing all the time?