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Northern California Coastal Forests (WWF ecoregion NA0519) View National Geographic WildWorld profile,(WildWorld home), View  WWF Wildfinder animal species list (WildFinder home)

redwood forest, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California
Sequoia sempervirens (redwood) along the Smith River, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California (c) 2005 Steven J. Baskauf


Source of bioregions data: Olson, D. M. and E. Dinerstein. The Global 200: Priority ecoregions for global conservation. (PDF file) Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 89:125-126.

Distinctiveness (1=highest,4=lowest): 1 (globally outstanding)
The distribution of Sequoia sempervirens (redwood) defines the extent of this ecoregion.  This is the tallest species of tree in the world (individuals as tall as 369m) and it is the cornerstone of a globally unique forest.  The ecoregion also contains 8 endemic conifer species.*

Conservation Status (1=most endangered, 5=most intact): 1 (critical)
Less than 4% of the original virgin redwood forests remain.  The ecoregion is threatened by logging, development, fire suppression, and invasive species.*

Characteristic species*
Sequoia sempervirens (redwood)Sequoia sempervirens (redwood)
(c) 2005 Steven J. Baskauf   hires
 
Pseudotsuga menziesii  (Douglas fir)
Lithocarpus densiflorus  (tanoak)
Abies grandis  (grand fir)
Tsuga heterophylla  (western hemlock)
Picea sitchensis  (Sitka spruce)
Thuja plicata  (western red cedar)
Acer macrophyllum  (bigleaf maple)
Myrica californica (California bay)
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Port Orford cedar)
Arbutus menziesii  (Pacific madrone)
Quercus garryana  (Oregon white oak)
Quercus kelloggii (California black oak)
Quercus wislizeni (interior live oak)
Quercus agrifolia (coast live oak)

Associated habitats

old-growth redwood forest, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California

redwood forest, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California fog along Smith River, Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP, CA redwood and tanoak, Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP, CA redwood forest, northern California
Far left: A lush understory grows beneath the world's tallest trees.  Middle left: Even in summer when there is reduced rainfall, fog from the ocean rolls in, maintaining a high humidity level.  Middle right: Tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus) is a common associate of redwood.  Far right: The largest redwoods have an enormous girth in addition to their great height.  Along with the high density of mature trees, this gives the old-growth redwood forest one of the largest standing biomasses of any habitat.   (c) 2005 Steven J. Baskauf   hires   hires   hires,  northern CA (c) 2005 James H. Bassett  hires

Smith River, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California Smith River, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California
The clear, cold, unpolluted water of the Smith River and its tributaries makes it one of the few rivers in the western U.S. with a healthy spawning population of salmon.  The best spawning habitat is in shaded pools formed by fallen trees and large branches in small streams that feed the river. (c) 2005 Steven J. Baskauf   hires   hires

coastal cliffs, Redwoods National Park, California

Coast, Redwoods Ntl. Park, California Coastal fog, Redwoods Ntl. Park, California Coastal cliff, Redwoods Ntl. Park, California Shrubs along coast, Redwoods Ntl. Park, California
Far left: Much of the coast is steep and rocky. Middle left: Fog from the ocean plays an important role in the climate of this ecoregion. Middle right and far right: Shrubs cover much of the steep slopes. (c) 2005 Steven J. Baskauf   hires   hires   hires   hires

coastal alder thicket, Redwoods National Park, California

Coastal alder thicket from above, Redwoods Ntl. Park, California Coastal alder thicket from below, Redwoods Ntl. Park, California
Left: Along some parts of the coast, Alnus rubra (red alder) forms dense thickets which form a solid canopy.  Right: Below the canopy, a lush understory grows in the shade. (c) 2005 Steven J. Baskauf   hires   hires

* Ricketts, T.H., E. Dinerstein, D.M. Olson, C.J. Loucks, et al.  (1999) Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: A Conservation Assessment.  World Wildlife Fund - United States and Canada.  Island Press, Washington, D.C. pp. 241-244.

Except as noted, images copyright 2002-2005 Steve Baskauf - Terms of use