mature phase

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The stage in the cyclical pattern of community change in grasslands and heathlands. In grasslands, the mature phase is the stage in which the grass hummocks attain their maximum height (about 4 cm) and begin to be colonized by lichens. In heathlands, it is the stage at which Calluna vulgaris bushes, about 12–18 years old, start to become less dense, allowing other species, especially bryophytes, to grow. Compare building phase; pioneer phase; hollow phase; and degenerate phase.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.

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