BEC subzones differentiate between regional climates. Proximity to Pacific Ocean and elevation are the main driver of climate. If we are going to adequately maintain the biodiversity of coastal forests, we will need to protect an ecologically functioning portion of each Biogeoclimatic subzone (BEC Unit).


Map of Bioecoclimatic Zones of SCFD

Forestry has a language of abbreviations and acronyms:

  • Hyper-maritime means that you are exposed to weather from the open Pacific: high winds drive rain horizontally, right down your neck!
  • Sub-maritime means that you are near the head of a long inlet exposed to strong out flow winds driving rain right down your neck!
  • Maritime means that you are adjacent to protected salt water, such as on the east side of Vancouver. High winds and heavy rains can come from any direction but end up going right down your neck, as usual!

In the BEC parlance, a wetness indicator such as very dry, dry, moist or very wet, precedes the maritime descriptor. In general, the higher the elevation, the wetter it gets!

Here’s an example abbreviation: CWHxm. The means the Zone is Coastal Western Hemlock and the subzone is very-dry maritime. CHWvm means Coastal Western Hemlock very-moist maritime.

Here are some pictures to help you get a “feel” for BEC Zones and Subzones:


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