The understory is an oft-neglected element in landscape modeling. Most landscape models focus on the dominant vegetation and how it responds over successional time to climate, competitive interactions, and disturbance (Keane et al. 2004, Cary et al. 2006). Even forest stand-level models rarely consider understory components other than seedlings, saplings, and downed wood (Pacala et al. 1993, He and Mladenoff 1999, Gratzer et al.