An old growth forest includes large living trees, standing dead trees or snags, and fallen logs in various stages of decay.
Beneath the tall forest canopy you will find what is called the understory.
The carbon-rich soil from decayed leaves, needles, and logs provides fertile ground for mosses, fungi, lichens, and other shade lovers.
|Bracken Fern in the understory.|
Here, you will find "nurse logs" that help regenerate forest.
Frequent precipitation and humidity in BC's coastal rainforest adds to the profusion of plant and animal life in the understory.
|Salal leaves are used by florists and the berries can be eaten.|
Beyond the trail, the ground is covered with plant debris and a spongy duff. Duff is defined by Natural Resources Canada as:
duff. Forest litter and other organic debris in various stages of decomposition on top of the mineral soil; typical of coniferous forests in cool climates, where rate of decomposition is slow and where litter accumulation exceeds decay.
|Stump acting as a "nurse log."|
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. -- Margy