Abstract for CNVC00053


Tsuga heterophylla / Vaccinium alaskaense / Hylocomium splendens

Western Hemlock / Alaskan Blueberry / Stairstep Moss
Pruche de l'Ouest / Airelle d'Alaska / Hypne Ă©clatante

Within the wet maritime climate of north-central coastal British Columbia, this coniferous association occupies poorly productive forested sites, usually on exposed ridge crests and upper slopes. CNVC00053 is found on dry to mesic, nutritionally poor to medium soils at elevations between near sea level and approximately 600 mASL. The open canopy is dominated by western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), with a minor presence of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). The shrub layer consists mostly of regenerating western hemlock and Alaskan blueberry (Vaccinium alaskaense), with some false azalea (Menziesia ferruginea). The sparse herb layer mainly includes bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) and five-leaved dwarf bramble (Rubus pedatus). The dominant mosses are lanky moss (Rhytidiadelphus loreus) and stairstep moss (Hylocomium splendens). These exposed low-canopy forests can offer valuable habitat in the form of complex vertical structure, variable sizes and decay stages of snags, and coarse woody debris.