from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A stage in the ecological succession of a plant or animal community immediately preceding a climax, and often persisting because of the effects of fire, flood, or other conditions.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Most upland areas are covered by subclimax pine forest, which has an understory of grasses and sedges called savannas.
Grassland types include hydrophilous grassland on sandy riverine soils dominated by Acroceras macrum and Ischaemum arcuatum; high-lying grasslands on sand, a diverse fire-subclimax community, palm-veld with Hyphaene coriacea and Phoenix reclinata, another fire-subclimax community; Echinochloa floodplain grassland; and low-lying grasslands on clay.
The shifting cultivation cycle has also been reduced from twelve to twenty years to five to eight years, resulting in the perpetuation of a bamboo subclimax that has begun to replace the broadleaf forests.
Mature forest cut for swidden agriculture generally is succeeded in this ecoregion by a grassy subclimax that supports far fewer species than the mature forest.
If degradation is extensive, then forest regeneration will not occur at all, and the vegetation consists of a subclimax of Imperata grasslands or the exotic weed Eupatorium adenophorum.
In the elided portion, he went into some suggested adjustments of voice in the sections leading up to the subclimax and climax, where the writing might have lost some necessary passion, and I think he's probably right about that.