Primary Succession


Succession is defined as a shift in the local composition of species in response to changes that occur over time. Primary succession is defined as an area that is devoid of life and contains no soil. This requires a pioneer species to begin to lay the ground work for other species by creating nutritious soil for future plants to grow in. If a volcanic eruption were to occur in the Mojave National Preserve, the plant that would most likely be the pioneer species would be the Creosote. It is a very tough desert scrub that can live in altitudes of up to 4000 feet. This plant already experiences harsh conditions in its current environment of little water and blistering heat, consequently, this plant would be ideal to initiate primary succession. This could take some time though because the desert is not even close to being covered entirely by ground plants, and resources, such as water, are not very assessable. After Creosote, the desert scrub covered most of the ground, other plants and animals could move back into the region because they would have adequate cover to hide from predators or pursue prey. One of the first animals to move back into the environment would be the Jackrabbit because it is very adaptable to different situations.