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4. Conifer Canopy

There is a heavy bryophyte load in the old growth forest canopy because the upper branches are more exposed than the lower branches. By far the most abundant canopy species is Antitrichia curtipendula, which is why it is known as "high branch moss" in some areas. The marbled murrelet nests in thick mats of this moss in Coast Range old growth.

This is the moss that contributes most of the biomass at the top of old growth conifers. The marbled murrelet nests in this moss mat.

Antitrichia curtipendula .

This is also frequent on shore pine along the coast and hardwood shrubs inland.

Frullania nisquallensis.

Not just in the canopy but abundant on branches all the way down. This is the primary moss that gives the coastal rainforest its character.

Isothecium stoloniferum.

Between the abundance of this in canopy of conifer forests to its frequency on drier hardwood forests, this is the most widespread leafy liverwort in the Pacific Northwest. There is even a form that grows on sand at the coast.

Porella navicularis.

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Copyright 2012 Northwest Botanical Institute