Old growth forest ecology
Scientific research & data on the ecological values of
old growth forest ecosystems in British Columbia
What is Old Growth?
Over 400 species of plants and animals rely on BC’s old growth forests for at least part of their life cycle. As of February 18, 2022, 326 species (plants, animals, birds, etc.) have been sighted and recorded in the Fairy Creek watershed, including 17 species that are at risk.
BC’s old coastal forests store huge amounts of carbon (up to 1,300 Mg ha-1). On sites like Fairy Creek, old forests are estimated to store twice as much carbon as mature forests and six or more times as much as clearcuts.
Old Growth in BC
The BC government defines “old growth” on the coast as forests older than 250 years, but old forests have unique ecological characteristics that aren’t considered in this definition.