The theory of gap dynamics generalizes disturbance-diversity-forest dynamics relationships but is hotly debated. Studies of interactions between tropical cyclones and forest dynamics at the Fushan Long-term Ecological Research Site in northeastern Taiwan, where typhoon disturbances occur on an annual basis, indicate that gaps created by disturbances do not always differ from the non-gap understory in important physical conditions such as light availability and variability. Therefore, shade-tolerant and -intolerant species can coexist in both gaps and the non-gap understory. In such forests, gaps are not indispensable for the establishment and growth of shadeintolerant species as postulated by the theory of gap dynamics. Thus, it is important to focus on specific environmental conditions rather than the gap versus non-gap status when discussing gapbiodiversity- forest dynamics relationships. In the era of climate change characterized by morefrequent climate extremes and natural disturbances, we should move beyond generalizations and directly address the processes leading to the observed relationships among disturbance, diversity, and forest dynamics.