skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Evergreen coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest

Abstract

The massive, evergreen coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest are unique among temperate forest regions of the world. The region's forests escaped decimation during Pleistocene glaciation; they are now dominated by a few broadly distributed and well-adapted conifers that grow to large size and great age. Large trees with evergreen needle- or scale-like leaves have distinct advantages under the current climatic regime. Photosynthesis and nutrient uptake and storage are possible during the relatively warm wet fall and winter months. High evaporative demand during the warm, dry summer reduces photosynthesis. Deciduous hardwoods are repeatedly at a disadvantage in competing with conifers in the regional climate. Their photosynthesis is predominantly limited to the growing season when evaporative demand is high and water is often limiting. Most nutrients needed are also less available at this time. The large size attained by conifers provides a buffer against environmental stress (especially for nutrients and moisture). The long duration between destructive fires and storms permits conifers to outgrow hardwoods with more limited stature and life spans.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5673778
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Science (Washington, D.C.); (United States)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 204
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CONIFERS; GROWTH; FEDERAL REGION X; TREES; BIOLOGICAL MODELS; ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; EVAPORATION; FIRES; NUTRIENTS; PHOTOSYNTHESIS; QUATERNARY PERIOD; CENOZOIC ERA; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; GEOLOGIC AGES; NORTH AMERICA; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; PHOTOCHEMICAL REACTIONS; PLANTS; SYNTHESIS; USA; 510200* - Environment, Terrestrial- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Waring, R H, and Franklin, J F. Evergreen coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. United States: N. p., 1979. Web. doi:10.1126/science.204.4400.1380.
Waring, R H, & Franklin, J F. Evergreen coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. United States. doi:10.1126/science.204.4400.1380.
Waring, R H, and Franklin, J F. Mon . "Evergreen coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest". United States. doi:10.1126/science.204.4400.1380.
@article{osti_5673778,
title = {Evergreen coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest},
author = {Waring, R H and Franklin, J F},
abstractNote = {The massive, evergreen coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest are unique among temperate forest regions of the world. The region's forests escaped decimation during Pleistocene glaciation; they are now dominated by a few broadly distributed and well-adapted conifers that grow to large size and great age. Large trees with evergreen needle- or scale-like leaves have distinct advantages under the current climatic regime. Photosynthesis and nutrient uptake and storage are possible during the relatively warm wet fall and winter months. High evaporative demand during the warm, dry summer reduces photosynthesis. Deciduous hardwoods are repeatedly at a disadvantage in competing with conifers in the regional climate. Their photosynthesis is predominantly limited to the growing season when evaporative demand is high and water is often limiting. Most nutrients needed are also less available at this time. The large size attained by conifers provides a buffer against environmental stress (especially for nutrients and moisture). The long duration between destructive fires and storms permits conifers to outgrow hardwoods with more limited stature and life spans.},
doi = {10.1126/science.204.4400.1380},
journal = {Science (Washington, D.C.); (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 204,
place = {United States},
year = {1979},
month = {1}
}