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