Patterns of Community Dynamics in Colorado Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fire Forests
Based on a 5-stand chronosequence (>500 yr), changes are characterized for age structure, overstorey mortality, recruitment, and understorey growth in developing Picea engelmanniiAbies lasiocarpa /forests. It is suggested that stand development involves aspects of two models: an equilibrium coexistence model in which spruce and fir constitute a stable, climax community through balanced life-history strategies; and a nonequilibrium coexistence model relying on periodic catastrophic disturbance (from large-scale wildfires to small-scale tree deaths) to disrupt competitive exclusion of spruce by fir.
Aplet, G., Laven, R. and Smith, F. (1988). Patterns of community dynamics in Colorado Engelmann spruce-subalpine fire forests. Ecology, 69(2): 312-319.