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[uhn-der-stawr-ee, -stohr-ee] /ˈʌn dərˌstɔr i, -ˌstoʊr i/
the shrubs and plants growing beneath the main canopy of a forest.
Origin of understory
1900-05; under- + story2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for understory
  • But this lush canopy has distracted attention from the understory of the reef, he added.
  • The forest becomes more open and dry, losing much of its understory, including tree seedlings.
  • Bracken fern and wild ginger thrived in the late-summer understory.
  • The understory is kept clean of debris and shade tolerant species by periodic fires.
  • The habitat is generally open, and consists of low understory.
  • They include the understory, mixed, and stand replacement fire regimes.
  • The wetland understory can be any, or a variety, of wetland plant community types ranging from wet prairie to hatrack cypress.
  • Some plantations that have not been recently thinned have little if any understory.
  • Sunlight filtering through to the understory is reduced because of the dense canopy.
  • In the understory shrubs such as hazelnut, thimbleberry, western azalea and wood rose are common.
Word Origin and History for understory

in reference to forest vegetation, also under-story, 1902, from under + story (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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