Biodiversity Patterns in Relation to Climate: The Coastal Temperate Rainforests of North America

  • Paul B. Alaback
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 116)


The west coast of North America presents a rich array of climatic, geologic, and historical environments in which a relatively rich flora and fauna have developed. In contrast to South America, the west coast of North America is part of a large temperate zone and as such shares serveral species with continental and in particular the montane biota of inland portions of the continent. Many species are confined to the coastal region, suggesting an adaptation to the relatively unique, mild marine climate, especially that of the temperate rainforest region. Subtleties in climatic differences between North America and other temperate rainforest types are hypothesized as a critical factor in explaining differences in structure and composition of vegetation (Alaback, 1991).


Coastal Forest Western Hemlock Biodiversity Pattern Current Climatic Condition Warm Temperate Zone 
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