The Great Bear Rainforest

THE GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST

THE GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST

The Great Bear Rainforest, located along the Pacific Coast of British Columbia, is a great example of a thriving yet vulnerable ecosystem. In this temperate rainforest, over 2,500 salmon runs take place a year. Many species rely on salmon as a seasonal food source, including bears, otters, wolves, orcas, loons and humans. The natural cycles of different species even closely align with salmon spawning season, ensuring their survival. Salmon also nourish trees, insects, algae, mosses and shrubs by enriching the rainforest’s living soil with nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and phosphorus. However, this process only takes place when other larger species, like bears and wolves, drag their carcasses through the forest. Salmon are at the centre of an essential system taking place in the rainforest as they are a keystone species. If they were to disappear, the whole system could face collapse.

Image credit: Sockeye salmon spawning in the Adams River. Author unknown via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Licensed under Creative Commons Zero on Pixabay.

Image credit: Sockeye salmon spawning in the Adams River. Author unknown via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Licensed under Creative Commons Zero on Pixabay.