Several environmental factors favour the development of karst on BC's coast:
Most of the karst on the coast occurs within the coastal western hemlock biogeoclimatic zone where the major tree species are western hemlock and amabilis fir, with some western redcedar, Sitka spruce, and yellow-cedar. These coastal forest karst ecosystems are often characterized by large mature trees, diverse plant and animal communities, highly productive aquatic systems, well-developed subsurface drainage, and extensive surface karst and underlying cave resources.
Coastal forest karst ecosystems are commonly more productive than similar forest sites on non-karst terrain. This increased productivity can be largely attributed to well-drained soils and the nutrient cycling associated with karst. As carbonate bedrock is dissolved by penetrating water, it releases CO2, calcium carbonate, and micro-nutrients into the soil, encouraging plant growth and development. The level of productivity appears to be directly related to the extent of surface and subsurface connections.
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