Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The uppermost layer of foliage that forms a forest canopy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The upper portion of a community of plants, above the understory.

Etymologies

over- +‎ story (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I use the blind in areas with a dense overstory or areas where there are no suitable trees for climbing.

    Ground Blinds or tree stands

  • In its heyday, the towering tree not only formed a critical part of the Eastern hardwood forest - researchers think it made up as much as a quarter of the woods 'overstory - but also provided inspiration to poets and novelists.

    The mighty American chestnut tree, poised for a comeback

  • A tough species willing to live in relic uranium mines, the public lands draft states: Populations find a mix of habitat conditions (including riparian areas and wetland ecosystems with diverse overstory and understory conditions) supporting a range of conditions for insect populations that support foraging, breeding, roosting, and hibernacula within the planning area, where the land is capable of doing so.

    Are Bats Standing In the Way of Uranium Boom? | Disinformation

  • Some overstory removal provides enough light for white fir regeneration, but also provides enough shade to prevent the regeneration of other species.

    White fir

  • Vegetation is mostly mid and tall grasses such as seacoast bluestem, switchgrass, gulfdune paspalum, fringeleaf paspalum, sandbur, purple threeawn, pricklypear, and catclaw with an overstory of southern live oak and honey mesquite trees.

    Ecoregions of Texas (EPA)

  • Post oaks and blackjack oaks have adapted to life in sandy soils and they dominate the overstory, with scattered honey mesquite and grasses, such as little bluestem and threeawn, growing beneath them.

    Ecoregions of Texas (EPA)

  • As a result, black sagebrush is more prevalent in the shrub overstory of Ecoregion 13v, and the more mesic understory species that are found farther north and east are largely absent.

    Ecoregions of Nevada (EPA)

  • The primary overstory species are red oak, white oak, and hickory.

    Ozark Broadleaf Forest - Meadow Province (Bailey)

  • The first is the process in which deciduous shrubs and trees initially colonize burned sites, but are replaced in the overstory in approximately 150 to 200 years by coniferous trees that may be limited in movement by the time necessary for successive generations to reach reproductive maturity or the presence of individual surviving trees dispersed throughout the burn.

    Climate change and fire in the Arctic

  • The primary overstory species are southern red oak, black oak, white oak, and hickories.

    Ouachita Mixed Forest - Meadow Province (Bailey)

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