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climax community

noun

a stable mature community in a successive series which has reached equilibrium after having evolved through stages and adapted to its environment

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climax community in Science
climax community
  (klī'māks')   
An ecological community in which populations of plants or animals remain stable and exist in balance with each other and their environment. A climax community is the final stage of succession, remaining relatively unchanged until destroyed by an event such as fire or human interference. See more at succession.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for climax community

in ecology, the final stage of biotic succession attainable by a plant community in an area under the environmental conditions present at a particular time. For example, cleared forests in the eastern United States progress from fields, to old fields (with colonizing trees and shrubs), to forests of these early colonists, and finally to climax communities of longer-lived tree species. The species composition of the climax community remains the same because all the species present successfully reproduce themselves and invading species fail to gain a foothold. Because climatic changes, ecological processes, and evolutionary processes cause changes in the environment over very long periods of time, the climax stage is not completely permanent

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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