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The Hood Canal forms the eastern boundary to the Olympic Peninsula.
A decaying tree base serves as a substrate for new plants.
Many plants, including wood sorrel and deer fern, can form a mosaic with mosses on the forest floor.
The almost horizontal stems of vine maple can serve as a substrate for mosses and lichens.
This native shrub is sometimes planted for its large leaves and bright berries.
This shell-less mollusk is found in damp forests in western North America. It can vary in color from bright yellow to tan or brown and can be spotted or plain.
The foliage of this shade-tolerant conifer has a feathery or lacy appearance.
The patterns of breakage in a tree stem can tell a pathologist about the decay organisms found in the wood. Logs which break open like this increase the surface area to the elements and other decay organisms and will move thru the various stages of decay more quickly than logs which are not broken.
This evergreen fern is common in moist forests and can be found in low, mid and high elevation forests. It can grow on a wide range of soils but its fronds will be smaller on sites with low site fertility.
Different species of spiders can create very different looking webs.
Riparian areas can have complex topography which creates many niches for plant and animal species.
This delicate looking fern is most common in shady moist forests. It can be found in the spray zone of waterfalls or near seeps.
Large woody debris pile
Old-growth forests on the Olympic Peninsula can have very large natural piles of decaying woody material from windthrow or other events.
Old-growth forests don't all look alike but they usually have trees in a wide range of tree sizes and some open areas where more light reaches the forest floor.
Future wood for the stream
The long slender tree bole has fallen in the riparian area but has not yet impacted the stream. When the log decays, it will break and fall into the stream, changing the pattern of water flow.
Sword fern and red alder
The high cover of sword fern and other species is an indication of light on the forest floor. This is from a moister portion of the Snow White study area which has been thinned twice.