NW Coniferous Forest Information:


Quick Annual Stats:
Temperature30°F to 80°F
Rainfall50 inches or more
Dewpointusually over 50°F
Soilpoor, often rocky
The NW Coniferous Forest is a biome of tall trees and damp environments. Some scientists estimate that the total biomass per hectare exceeds that of tropical rain forests. They exist because moisture-laden air from the Pacific Ocean becomes trapped along coastal mountains of northern California, Oregon, and Washington. Most of the trees are coniferous, but maples and alders are spread throughout the forests. The tallest trees, Redwoods, are logged extensively along their range. Western redcedar and douglas fir are smaller and common coniferous species. Redwoods include the tallest trees in the world, at heights exceeding 350'. (A similar species, the sequoia, to the south, holds the record for the largest tree.) Rainfall generally exceeds 70" of rain per year. Temperatures generally do not exceed 80°F and do not fall below freezing. The ecosystem is very productive because of the high rainfall and moderate temperatures. Fog often envelopes the coastal ranges throughout the summer months, reducing the chances of fires and hydrating the needles of the trees. The presence of western redcedar and redwood makes the forests economically important, and logging has reduced the old growth original forest to less than 5% of its original size. There is constant pressure in the US Congress over legislation to cut more of the old growth forest. The Sierra Club and other conservancies are in a constant struggle to save them. Common animals include black-tailed deer, elk, squirrel, marmot, black bear, river otter, jays and more.





The trunk of redwoods are often fire-scarred from ground fires.
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Where breaks in the canopy allow, the forest floor is covered with smaller plants.
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The trunk of a fallen redwood holds climate information that ranges back for over 1000 years.
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Not all of the trees are of gigantic proportions.
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The canopy of the taller trees easily reaches over 250' in height.
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Fog is common during the day as the moisture-laden air rolls in off of the Pacific Ocean.
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The source of the moisture making the NW coniferous forest the productive system it is.
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