Beautiful path in a forest during a vibrant summer day. Taken in Raft Cove Provincial Park, Northern Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

Biogeoclimatic Zones of BC

Biogeoclimatic Zones (or simply BEC Zones) are named for the dominant plant(s) of the climax old growth forest. For example, in the old growth Coastal Douglas Fir Zone (CDF), Douglas Fir dominates the canopy, regenerates under its canopy and provides a greater biomass than any other living thing.

Map of Bioecoclimatic Zones of BC

In the Coastal Western Hemlock Zone (CWH) Western Hemlock and Western Red Cedar form the canopy of the climax old growth forest. In the younger stages of these forests, Douglas Fir is the pioneer species. Over time, the smaller component of hemlock and cedar trees plus those growing under the canopy will take over leaving only a few Douglas Fir veterans behind. Notice that this Zone is huge! It extends from the State of Washington through British Columbia and into Alaska.

There is one zone that doesn't have a dominant forest cover; the Alpine Tundra. It is also a large zone and is only found above the tree line. It supports spectacular wildlife values and is a great place to go skiing!

Let's zoom into the SCFD to get a closer picture.

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