Plants such as small trees, bushes, herbs and grasses that grow below the canopy level in a forest. In the North Cascades, dense understories commonly occur in areas where abundant light falls on the forest floor, such as recently burned sites.
The area below the forest canopy that comprises shrubs, snags and small tree. Because the understory receives little light, many of the plants at this level tolerate shade and will remain part of the understory. Others will grow and replace older trees that fall.
Understory (or understorey) is the term for the area of a forest which grows in the shade of the emergent or canopy forest canopy. Plants in the understory consist of a mixture of seedlings and saplings of canopy trees together with understory shrubs and herbs. Young canopy trees often persist as suppressed juveniles for decades while they wait for an opening in the forest overstory which will enable their growth into the canopy.