Seral communities modify the environmental conditions in such a way that these are less favourable for itself and more favourable for the next community. Each community acts to end itself.

If the same is applicable to the climax community, what does it lead to?*

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    $\begingroup$ Could you please define 'climax community' for the purposes of your question? Dictionary.com gives: "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", which suggests an answer by definition to your question: a climax community, without intervention, leads to ongoing climax community. $\endgroup$
    – bshane
    Jun 7 '16 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ In addition to the comment by @bshane, note that the term climax community is somewhat obsolete, since also late succesional stages (e.g. old-growth forests) are now viewed as much more dynamical systems than previously thought. $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '16 at 11:47

As pointed out by @bshane it seems your question is answered by the definition. From the relevant wikipedia articles

"A seral community (or sere) is an intermediate stage found in ecological succession in an ecosystem advancing towards its climax community."


"In ecology, climax community, or climatic climax community, is a historic term that expressed a biological community of plants, animals, and fungi which, through the process of ecological succession the development of vegetation in an area over time, had reached a steady state. This equilibrium was thought to occur because the climax community is composed of species best adapted to average conditions in that area."

It doesn't lead anywhere, it is the climax. It is the state a community reaches when there is little change in the biodiversity as it because the community is composed of species at proportions that suit the ecology well.

However, in reality it seems that climax communities are rarely (if ever obtained) and, with increasing climate change and habitat invasion by humans, few communities will be in equilibrium. The adaptive landscape varies in time and space, thus while a community may be well suited to the current environment, it may well be poorly suited to future incarnations of that environment and will be undergoing constant change. As such, the term "climax community" is somewhat obsolete with it generally referring to old or established communities rather than those at a climax.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, and problems with the climax community idea definitely doesn't hinge on human interference. For instance, plant distributions in Europe haven't stabilized since the last glaciation and the dynamics of old-growth boreal forests depend on forest fire dynamics. There are even studies that argue that the diverisity of tropical rainforests (arguably one of the most climax-like habitats there is) are dependent on glacial refugia. $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '16 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ I'm aware of that - just pointing out that habitats change, especially at the moment, so there is little chance that a community can stabilise (because environments are unstable) $\endgroup$
    – rg255
    Jun 7 '16 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ It wasn't really citicism, just an addition/clarification to your answer. As a sidenote, I find it amusing that we both independently used the exact wording "somewhat obsolete" to describe the term climax community (see my comment to the Q). Then it must be an accurate description... $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '16 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ haha, weird! must be a very good description of its somewhat obsolete nature $\endgroup$
    – rg255
    Jun 7 '16 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ A somewhat vague description of a somewhat obsolete concept. $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '16 at 14:19

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