From the Summary and Conclusions ... 'Forest succession in the Northern Rocky Mountains is not an autogenic process in which initial seral plants modify the site to their own exclusion and permit the establishment of interseral and eventually climax species. Rather, succession is a sequential development of vegetation in which the more rapidly maturing and often shade-intolerant plants assume initial dominance and in turn are dominated by taller, slower growing, and often more shade-tolerant species.Data from three large wildfire burns show that a high percentage of plant species on site at the time of fire survive and reestablish on the burned area. The majority of recognizable survival adaptations are on-site plant parts and seeds or fruits, and these are the major source of early seral vegetation. The exception to this rule is supplied by a few species that have both an on-site survival strategy and airborne seeds.Whether plant community components are derived from on-site or off-site sources, however, it seems apparent that all dominants of early succession will become established in the initial postfire growing season.Thus, on the basis of either prefire or first-year community composition, it is possible to derive reliable estimates of probable composition during early succession. Further predictions, based on survival strategies and dominance potentials of various plant species in the community, make it possible to estimate probable structural configurations of the vegetation for the early successional period.'