Fire climax

n. A plant community maintained by periodic fires (National Wildfire Coordinating Group 1996).

 

  • Discussion

 

A fire climax plant community is a community maintained by periodic fires (National Wildfire Coordinating Group 1996). The term “climax” is usually applied to biotic communities thought to be in equilibrium with existing environmental conditions and represents the final stage of an ecological succession (Lincoln and others 1998). Sites with vegetation that is maintained by a specific environmental condition or disturbance regime sometimes receive special names, such as “edaphic climax” (maintained by soil factors) or “fire climax” (maintained by fires) (Helms 1998). Some ecologists prefer to describe a community maintained by disturbance as a “disclimax” community (Lincoln and others 1998).

 

  • See Also

    • Succession

     

  • References

    • Helms, John A., ed. 1998. The dictionary of forestry. Bethesda, MD: The Society of America Foresters. 210 p.

    • Lincoln, Roger; Boxshall, Geoff; Clark, Paul. 1998. A dictionary of ecology, evolution and systematics. 2nd ed. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. 361 p.

    • National Wildfire Coordinating Group. 1996. Glossary of wildland fire terminology. NFES #1832. National Wildfire Coordinating Group, Incident Operations Standards Working Team. Boise, ID: National Interagency Fire Center, Great Basin Cache Supply Office. 162 p.

     

  • Notes

    • Author 

      Jane Kapler Smith, Ecologist

      Rocky Mountain Research Station