Processes causing succession may be distinguished as the following:
(i) Initial causes, (ii) Containing causes, and (iii) Stabilising causes.
(i) Initial causes are climatic as well as biotic. These causes produce the bare areas or destroy the existing population in areas already covered with vegetation. Climatic causes include such factors as soil erosion, sediment deposition, forest fire or volcanic activity. The biotic factors comprise the various activities of the organisms.
(ii) Continuing causes refer to the processes such as migration, aggregation, competition etc. which cause successive waves of population as a result of changes in the edaphic features of the area. These causes reflect the interaction of vegetation and habitat.
(iii) Stabilising causes lead to the stabilization of the community. They determine the nature of the climatic climax. However, the climate of an area is the main cause of stabilization, whereas other causes are less important.