Forest Edges Rich in Mosses

The edges of remnant old-growth forests harbour a mix of mosses and liverworts that favour interior forest habitat as well as disturbed sites.

Between 5 and 25 years after logging, the influence of forest edges on mosses and liverworts extends at least 45 m into old-growth remnants of dry Coastal Western Hemlock biogeoclimatic subzone forests.

Near edges, wind-toppled trees create a variety of habitats conducive to a substantial array of mosses.

Of the 30 liverworts and 50 mosses identified, a total of 70 species were found near forest edges and 51 species in interior forest. Among these, 12 species grew only near forest edges and 7 species occurred exclusively under trees located over 75 m inside forest patches. Though interior forests contain fewer species, moss cover is considerably more extensive there than at the edges.


Lyn K. Baldwin and Gary E. Bradfield. 2005. Bryophyte community differences between edge and interior environments in temperate rain-forest fragments of coastal British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 35: 580-592.

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