Abstract for CNVC00057


Picea sitchensis / Gaultheria shallon / Polystichum munitum

Sitka Spruce / Salal / Western Sword Fern
Épinette de Sitka / Salal / Fougère épée

Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) is prominent in this productive, shoreline, coniferous forest association, where exposure to salt spray is pronounced. CNVC00057 occurs near sea level on wind-exposed sandy marine terraces and lower slope topopositions within the very wet hypermaritime climate regime of the outer Pacific coast. Soils are generally mesic to moist and relatively fertile. Sitka spruce is often accompanied in the canopy by variable coverage of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) and western redcedar (Thuja plicata). Common species in the shrub layer include salal (Gaultheria shallon), salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium), and regenerating tree species. When sufficient light is available, the herb layer usually features western sword fern (Polystichum munitum), deer fern (Blechnum spicant), two-leaved false Solomon's seal (Maianthemum dilatatum), clasping-leaved twisted-stalk (Streptopus amplexifolius), and bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum). The relatively diverse moss layer includes slender beaked moss (Eurhynchium praelongum), Oregon beaked moss (E. oreganum), shining clear moss (Hookeria lucens), dotted leafy moss (Rhizomnium punctatum), flat moss (Plagiothecium undulatum) and hairy pouchwort (Calypogeja trichomanis).