Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Coastal BC Plants: The Understory

The Understory

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.
The understory also serves as a nursery for tree seedlings.

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.
These pictures were taken during a hike through a second growth forest near our cabin on Powell Lake.

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."
On our hike, I let Wayne go ahead so I could be alone and surrounded in the forest's peace and tranquility.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. -- Margy

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful!!! I love to take long walks in nature! I find it soothing and I sleep much better, too! :)

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    1. There's nothing like being alone in the quiet. - Margy

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  2. These pictures are the exact reason why I love wandering the forest trails - all the ferns and moss, so pretty!

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    1. Living in the rainforest does have its advantages. - Margy

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  3. Beautiful forest walk with you and your hubby ~ great photos and most informative post for U ~

    Wishing you a magical week
    artmusedog and carol

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  4. Beautiful photo's..... long for such a place full of rest at this moment ;-)

    Have a nice abc-day / - week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y <abc-w-team)

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  5. I should like to go hiking overthere with you for a guide!Thanks for your visit.Wil,ABCW Team

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    1. Fortunately I've had good guides to show me the best places. - Margy

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  6. Love exploring the forest anytime!

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  7. Duff is not a word I'd heard before, how interesting. Looks like a lovely forest walk.

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    1. I'd never heard it before we moved to Powell River. I also learn a lot doing research for my posts. - Margy

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  8. Thanks everyone for visiting and commenting on my ABC Wednesday post this week. I enjoy hearing from each of you. - Margy

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  9. It's very lovely there, Margy! I can see why you would want to be alone for a few minutes in such a serene atmosphere.

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  10. The undergrowth is important to the ecosystem

    ROG, ABCW

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