The eastern North Pacific Ocean is part of a vast and continuous expanse of water that
forms the oceans of the world. The ocean and atmosphere act as a strongly couple system -
transferring heat, moisture, and momentum back and forth and interacting with landmasses
to create the weather and hence the climate of the earth. In this respect, the eastern
North Pacific does not act in isolation. Its behavior is strongly influence by events in
tropical, subtropical and subarctic regions.
The coastal rain forest owes its physical and ecological characteristics to the
interactive processes that occur between the ocean, atmosphere, and landmasses. Physical
energy is transferred back and forth extensively between them: radiative energy, winds,
precipitation, ocean waves. Energy is also transferred ecologically via processes such as
migrations of salmon and other anadromous species into freshwater systems. (Salmon, 1997, p. 7). "Granted
with permission from The Rain Forests of Home, P.K. Schoonmaker, B. von Hagen, and E.C.
Wolf, © Ecotrust, 1997. Published by Island Press, Washington DC and Covelo, CA. For more
information, contact Island Press directly at 1-800-828-1302, email@example.com
(E-mail), or www.islandpress.org (Website)."
The Influence of Weather Systems on the Coastal
Rain Forests of Northwestern North America
Weather systems directly connect the marine and terrestrial land environments...One of the
direct biological links between the marine and terrestrial environment in the coastal rain
forest region is the introduction of marine-derived nutrients into the terrestrial system
by migrating salmon. Significant amounts of marine-derived nitrogen and other organic
materials enter freshwater systems as adult salmon return to rivers and streams to spawn
and die. (decaying carcasses nourish Kline, et al., 1990, 1993). The nutrients from
bacteria, plankton, young salmon, and other juvenile fish. Plants too use these
marine-derived nutrients. In fact, the nitrogen content of the leaves of some trees near
Bristol Bay, Alaska, was found to essentially be 100 percent marine-derived nitrogen
(comm.). (Salmon, 1997, pp. 20-21).
"Granted with permission from The Rain Forests of Home, P.K. Schoonmaker, B. von
Hagen, and E.C. Wolf, © Ecotrust, 1997. Published by Island Press, Washington DC and
Covelo, CA. For more information, contact Island Press directly at 1-800-828-1302,
firstname.lastname@example.org (E-mail), or www.islandpress.org (Website)."