California mixed evergreen forest

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California mixed evergreen forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

California mixed evergreen forest is an ecoregion of the Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome. It is found in the mountain ranges of California and into southwestern Oregon.

The Mixed evergreen forest ecoregion is native to the Northern and Southern California Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada of central and northern California; the Transverse Ranges and Peninsular Ranges of southern California; and the southwestern Oregon Coast Ranges.

California mixed evergreen forests occur in ecoregions of the California Floristic Province, including in areas of the California chaparral and woodlands and its sub-ecoregions, Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains forests, Northern California coastal forests, and Sierra Nevada lower montane forest. The forests of each ecoregion have a somewhat different plant community composition.

Klamath-Siskiyou mixed evergreen forest[edit]

The mixed evergreen forests of the Klamath Mountains-Siskiyou Mountains occur above 300 meters (1000 ft) elevation, and are of four main types. Douglas-fir forests are found on gentle slopes, north-facing slopes, ridges with deep soil, and river terraces with deep sediments, usually underlain with sedimentary rocks. Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii ssp. menziesii) is the predominant tree, occupying up to 70% of the forest cover. Broadleaf evergreen trees are relatively few. Tree species of secondary importance are:

On granite soils, a similar species composition predominates, but with more broadleaf evergreens, chiefly:

On steep, well drained slopes, canyon live oak is the dominant species, with coast Douglas-fir in a minor role.

On serpentine soils, mixed evergreen forests are made up of:

moister areas
drier areas

California Coast Ranges mixed evergreen forest[edit]

Mixed evergreen forests in the California Coast Ranges vary in species related to coastal (Outer Ranges) or inland (Inner Ranges) climate influences. Mountains in the San Francisco Bay Area frequently support mixed evergreen forests. Generally the moister the forest habitat the greater the understory density.

Those closer to the coast receiving adequate fog moisture and high rainfall generally will feature the following species:
Further inland, on north facing slopes or protected canyons, these forests are drier and generally lack tanoak, Douglas fir, and coast redwood. Species typical of the drier neighboring oak woodlands join the mix:

Common wildlife include Steller's jay, chestnut-backed chickadee, western gray squirrel, raccoon and many others. These forests are more diverse in animal life than those having only conifers. The predominance of broadleaf trees provide a greater abundance of food sources.

Southern Coast, Transverse, and Peninsular Ranges mixed evergreen forest[edit]

Also called southern mixed evergreen forests, the mixed evergreen forests of the southern California Coast Ranges, the Transverse Ranges, and the northern Peninsular Ranges, are restricted to cooler north-facing slopes at higher elevations.

Predominant tree species include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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