Meaning of subclimax

sub•cli•max

Pronunciation: (sub-klī'maks), [key]
— n. Ecol.
  1. the development of an ecological community to a stage short of the expected climax because of some factor, as repeated fires in a forest, that arrests the normal succession.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.