Abies grandis Forest Alliance
Grand fir forest

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormTree
  • Elevation0-50 m
  • State RarityS2.1
  • Global RarityG4
  • DistributionCAN: BC. USA: CA, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY (NatureServe) (USDA Plants)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added1995/11/01

Characteristic Species

Abies grandis is dominant or co-dominant in the tree canopy with Alnus rubra, Picea sitchensis, Pinus muricata, Sequoia sempervirens and Tsuga heterophylla.

Vegetation Layers

Trees < 70 m; canopy is continuous. Shrub layer is sparse to intermittent. Herbaceous layer is open to abundant.

Membership Rules

  • Abies grandis > 60% cover in the tree canopy (Nature-Serve 2007).


Maritime terraces, coastline slopes, and bluffs. The USFWS Wetland Inventory (1996 national list) recognizes Abies grandis as a FACU+ plant.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Grand fir series
NVCS (2009) Abies grandis forest alliance
Calveg Douglas-fir-Grand fir, Grand fir
Holland Sitka spruce-grand fir forest
Munz North Coast coniferous forest
WHR Redwood
CDFW CA Code 88.100.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Tree Vegetation (Forest and Woodland)
Formation Subclass Temperate Forest
Formation Cool Temperate Forest
Division Western North America Cool Temperate Forest
Macro Group Vancouverian Rainforest
Group Vancouverian hypermaritime lowland rainforest