Abstract for CNVC00028


Tsuga heterophylla - Abies amabilis / Oplopanax horridus / Gymnocarpium dryopteris

Western Hemlock - Pacific Silver Fir / Devil's-club / Common Oak Fern
Pruche de l'Ouest - Sapin gracieux / Bois piquant / Gymnocarpe du chĂȘne

CNVC00028 is a highly productive coniferous old-forest association that is common on lower and toe slope seepage sites at low and mid elevations along the Coast Mountains of British Columbia and on the coastal islands. Soils are moist and nutritionally rich. Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) and Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis) usually co-dominate the canopy. Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) or western redcedar (Thuja plicata) can be present in varying amounts. The shrub layer is normally dominated by devil's club (Oplopanax horridus), with lesser amounts of salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), Alaskan blueberry (Vaccinium alaskaense) and regenerating tree species. The herb layer is well-developed and dominated by common oak fern (Gymnocarpium dryopteris), common lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), spreading wood fern (Dryopteris expansa) and three-leaved foamflower (Tiarella trifoliata). Along with lanky moss (Rhytidiadelphus loreus) and stairstep moss (Hylocomium splendens), various leafy mosses (e.g., Plagiomnium insigne, Rhizomnium glabrescens and Rhizomnium nudum) are common on the forest floor. These forests are generally long-lived and are typically renewed by regeneration in small gaps formed by the loss of individual trees to wind damage (e.g., stem breakage or windthrow). Three subassociations are recognized: Vaccinium alaskaense, Athyrium filix-femina and Picea sitchensis.