A stage in the cyclical pattern of community change in heathlands, when individual Calluna vulgaris plants are young (up to 10 years old) and provide little cover, so that there is maximum diversity of associated species. Although C. vulgaris biomass is low, productivity in the new shoots is high. Compare building phase; degenerate phase; hollow phase; and mature phase. The term may also be used more generally for the ‘new plant’ stage of any cyclical pattern of vegetation change.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.