|Redwood national park, California|
|Seen from Capilano Bridge, British Columbia|
The Pacific rain forest stretches along the coast in a relatively narrow band from northern California to Southern Alaska. The forest's most predominate plants are conifers including Spruce, Hemlock, Douglas Fir and the Giant Sequoia. These conifers create a canopy cover in excess of 70 % and shade an understory of broad-leaf trees and shrubs. They do not need a fire event to regenerate but the Douglas fir does require a stand-clearing disturbance to establish a population of seedlings. Other conifers germinate in shade or natural forest openings often making use of a fallen, decaying "nurse log" which provides the nutrients and moisture for germination. They are well suited to the mean temperature of 4-12 degrees Celsius (39-54 degrees Fahrenheit). They also thrive thanks to the 200-400 cm (79- 158 in) of annual precipitation which comes primarily as winter rain with snow at higher elevations and frequent fog near the coast and rivers.