noun Ecology.
the development of an ecological community to a stage short of the expected climax because of some factor, as repeated fires in a forest, that arrests the normal succession.

1930–35; sub- + climax Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
subclimax (sʌbˈklaɪmæks)
ecology a community in which development has been arrested before climax has been attained

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
subclimax  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (sŭb-klī'māks')  Pronunciation Key 
A stage in the ecological succession of a plant or animal community immediately preceding a climax, often persisting because of the repeated effects of fire, flood, or other conditions. See also climax community, succession.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
So the sequoia belongs to a subclimax stage of succession.
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