• Biogeoclimatic subzones –

    Biogeoclimatic subzones are the basic unit of climatic classification in British Columbia. Each subzone comprises a geographic area with a fairly uniform regional climate and a typical pattern of vegetation and soils. Subzones are grouped into biogeoclimatic zones to create more generalized units, and these are named after the climatic region and climatic climax plant community.

  • Biotic community –

    A biotic community is a group of organisms that live together and interact with each other within an environment or habitat. Together, the biotic community and the physical landscape (abiotic factors) make up an ecosystem.

  • Bryophytes –

    Bryophytes are non-vascular seedless land plants (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts). Although they exhibit specialized structures for water transportation, they have no vascular tissue or true roots.

  • Carbon Sink –

    Forests absorb carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis and the carbon is stored in trees and other components of the ecosystem. Forests also produce carbon dioxide through respiration, decay or when they burn. A forest is a carbon sink if it absorbs more carbon than it produces. Conversely, if a forest produces more carbon than it absorbs it is a carbon source.

  • Chronosequence study –

    A chronosequence study in forest sciences is a study that takes place on a set of forested sites that share similar attributes (e.g., climate and topography) but are of different ages

  • Cryptogams –

    Cryptogams are plants that have no true flowers or seeds and reproduce by spores. They include mosses, liverworts, and lichens. Ferns are considered advanced cryptogams because they reproduce by spores but are differentiated into roots, stems and leaves.

    Read more about cryptograms.

  • CWHvm –

    CWHvm is the abbreviation for the very wet maritime Coastal Western Hemlock biogeoclimatic subzone. The province of British Columbia is divided into 16 zones, including the Coastal Western Hemlock (CWH). A zone is a large geographic area with a relatively uniform regional climate. The CWH zone is subdivided into climatically distinct subzones, including the vm, or very wet maritime subzone. The CWHvm has a wet, humid, mild, oceanic climate and has an extensive distribution on the BC coast including western Vancouver Island.

  • Epiphytes –

    Epiphytes are plants, including lichens, which rely on other plants for support, growing on trunks and branches rather than rooting themselves to the ground. They are not parasitic on the supporting plants but rather derive nutrients from the air and small pools of water that collect on the host. Epiphytes are also referred to as epiphytic plants.

  • Evapotranspiration –

    Evapotranspiration is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces as well as by transpiration from plants.

  • Gametes –

    Gametes are reproductive cells in sexually reproducing organisms that fuse with one another during fertilization. The male and female gametes each contain half the genetic material necessary to form a complete organism.

  • Lichen –

    Lichens are complex organisms that arise from the symbiotic relationship between fungi and a photosynthetic partner, typically algae. There are three main types of lichens: foliose, fruticose, and crustose. Foliose lichens are a horizontally growing leafy type of lichen that is always attached to the surface where it is growing. A fruticose lichen is characterized by a coral -like shrubby or bushy growth structure, with upright (pendulous) branches. A crustoselichen is more like a flat crust on a surface or beneath the rock surface or trees.

  • Productivity –

    Forest site productivity is the capacity of a forest to generate products (e.g., wood or biomass) on a certain site with a given tree species and a specified management regime. Site productivity depends both on natural factors inherent to the site and on management-related factors.

  • Riparian zone –

    A riparian zone is a transitional zone between a river or stream and drier uplands.

  • Rotation –

    Rotation is the planned number of years from when a forest is established to its final cutting.

  • Saprophytic plants –

    Unlike typical green plants saprophytic plants lack chlorophyll in their leaves and so are unable to produce food from the process of photosynthesis. Instead, they feed on the decay of dead plants and animals.

  • Seral –

    A seral stage is a specific vegetation community occurring on a site at some point in time. When the trees in a forest are cleared during a disturbance (e.g., logging or wildfire), the land does not return to its former forested state in a single step. Rather, one vegetation community is gradually replaced by another. Early seral is the first stage in forest development following any disturbance. An early seral, or early successional community is made up of the first colonizers of a forest opening, or by species that survive the disturbance. The mid-seral stage follows the early seral stage, and is the stage when forests naturally thin.

  • Site Index –

    Site Index is a measure of the land’s productive potential for a particular tree species and is expressed as potential tree height at 50 years breast-height age. Breast-height age is the number of years required for a tree to grow from breast height (1.3 m above ground level) to its current height. Site index provides a standardized comparison of productive potential between sites, across a broad range of existing site conditions.

  • Soil micro-fauna –

    Soil micro-fauna are small, often microscopic organisms such as nematodes and protozoa that inhabit the soil. Many inhabit water films or pore spaces in leaf litter and in the soil, feeding on smaller microorganisms that decompose organic material.

  • Vascular plant –

    A vascular plant has specialized vascular tissue. There are two types of vascular tissue: xylem and phloem, which move water, nutrients, and the products of photosynthesis throughout the plant. Vascular plants include trees, seed plants and ferns.