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Wildlife Habitats and Forests

Upland Forest

An upland (as opposed to riparian or bottomland) forest along Oregon's Central Coast has a closed canopy dominated by Douglas-fir and bigleaf maple. The current tree cover in the typical upland forest is second or third growth, though some old growth forest remains. .


Overleaf Lodge

The thick and varied forest canopy catches rain and collects dew. Tree roots hold the soil of steep slopes in place, and shelter mosses, lichens and other understory vegetation. Branches shade and cool upland streams essential to native fish including salmon. Upland forests provide habitat for hundreds of species of birds, mammals and reptiles and amphibians many of which will only live in this type of forest.


Bottomland Forest


Oregon Guides and Packers

Bottomland forest is comprised of both hardwood and softwood tree species that occur on floodplains or seasonally wet areas. Historically, the term bottomland hardwood forest has been used to describe forests that occur on river floodplains. The current definition (Huffman and Forsythe 1981) includes the following:

  1. The habitat is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater periodically during the growing season.
  2. The soils within the root zone become saturated periodically during the growing season.
  3. The prevalent woody plant species associated with this habitat have demonstrated the ability, because of morphological and/or physiological adaptations, to survive, achieve maturity, and reproduce where the soils within the root zone may become anaerobic for various periods during the growing season.

In Oregon's Coast Range these forests are usually dominated by red alder, Oregon ash, and willow as well as several species of shrubs (e.g., cascara, Douglas hawthorn, Pacific ninebark). Other common plants include creek dogwood, ninebark, Indian plum, vine maple, hazelnut, stinging nettle, and sedges.


Huffman, R. T., and Forsythe, S. W. 1981. Bottomland hardwood forest communities and their relation to anaerobic soil conditions. Wetlands of bottomland hardwood forests. J. R. Clark and J. Benforado, eds., Elsevier, Amsterdam, 187-196.

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