A climax community refers to the final stage of a given plant community. The community reaches what is known as ‘climax’ once it is in a stable state. Essentially, this means that all the plants in a given area have all reached their optimal state, and are in harmonious balance with one another. If an ecosystem has one particular plant that grows very quickly, and is likely to thrive earlier than other plants in that native ecosystem, then the plant community would still be in flux, and thus not at a climax state. Vegetation would not yet be in balance, as slower growing plants would not have had time to grow. Usually, a climax community has more mature plants than young plants, and has had the time for the vegetation in that area to grow to its full and complete state. Examples of this process can be best seen in clear cut fields. Once a field is cleared, there is essentially no vegetation in that area, and thus the plant community is almost non-existent. This begins the stages of plant succession. When plants do start to grow, they will be in a young, or juvenile state. In a field, this would usually start with quick-growing vegetation such as grasses or perhaps moss and ground cover. Over time, these grasses would continue to grow, and reach maturity, but during this time other plants would begin to grow. In this way, grass may become mature, while other vegetation - like shrubs or even young saplings - would themselves be in a young stage of growth. Over years, these shrubs would begin to mature, and given even more time, the saplings and young trees would continue to grow. The quick growing plants will naturally mature at a faster rate than others, meaning the plant community would not yet have reached a fully mature, or optimal state. Once all plants within the ecosystem or plant community have had the opportunity to reach maturity, the community can be described as a climax one. This does not, however, mean that there are only mature plants in this community, or that new growth has become stagnant. In most ecosystems growth continues perpetually, and there are always new plants growing, maturing, or dying. However in a climax state, the species within that community remain balanced and the same, while any invading or non-native plants fail to take over. Because of this, a climax state is not a stale state, rather a threshold by which to measure that the majority of vegetation in that area has reached its optimal state. New life will continue to grow, but the majority of plants have reached their peak state.