Forest

Haley Coleman

Biome Description

Location

The deciduous forest biome is located between the polar regions and tropics. Because of where this biome is located the cold from the polar regions and the warm from the tropics contribute to the change in climate in the deciduous forest biome. Most of the deciduous forests are found in eastern United States, Canada, Europe, China, Japan, and parts of Russia.

General Characteristics

The deciduous forest biome is divided into 5 zones. The five zones are tree stratum zone, small tree and sapling zone, shrub zone, herb zone, and the ground zone. The tree stratum zone is the tallest zone and trees there range from 60-100 feet tall. The second zone, which is small tree and sapling zone, is mostly characterized by smaller, shorter trees. The shrub has many different shrubs that include mountain laurels, huckleberries, and many more. The fourth zone is the herb zone and contains short, herbal plants like ferns. The last zone ,the ground zone, is where plants grow directly near the ground. Some plants that grow there are lichens and mosses.

Abiotic Factors

Weather

Temperate deciduous forests have a very wet in environment follow in close second to rainforests. The average yearly rainfall in this biome is about 30-60 inches. This precipitation falls throughout the year, but in the winter it falls as snow. A deciduous forests average temperature in the winter is about 50 degrees farenheight. The summers are mild at about 70 degrees farenheight.

Climate

The deciduous forest biome is in Köppens C category. The latitude range in this biome is from 23 degrees north to 38 degrees south. The summers there are mild averaging at about 70 degrees Fahrenheight. Climate is a mixture of temperature and precipitation. Deciduous forests have about 14 inches of rain the the winter months and 18 in the summer months.

Temperature

Deciduous forests don't have extreme temperature in the summer or winter months. In the summer the average temperature is about 70 degrees Fahrenheight (21 degrees Celsius). The winter months aren't really cold but the average temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheight (10 degrees Celsius).

Precipitation

The deciduous forest biome is a really wet area, but it is still second behind the rainforest biome. This precipitation falls throughout the year. It usually falls as rain but in the winter months it comes down as snow. The average yearly precipitation is about 30-60 inches (85-150 cm). This biome can average to about 14 inches in the winter months and around 18 inches in the summer months.

Seasons

The deciduous forest biome is different from some of the other biomes because it has four seasons. The seasons are summer, spring, winter, and fall. Summer is the hottest of the months and winter is normally the coldest.

Landforms

Mountains

Mountains are not very common in the deciduous forest biome. You may find a few but this biome is mostly made up of trees and plants. Mountains are rare in this biome and found not very often. There are some that are found in this biome. Forests usually are not very mountainous and that means that they are mountainless.

Bodies of Water

There are a few bodies of water found in the deciduous forest biome that include lakes, swamps, and rivers. There aren't very many due to the fact that there are a lot of plants that absorb the rain water before it has time to build up and form a mass of water. The deciduous forests are also not located very close to oceans most of the time so they can't get water form there.

Canyons

Same as the mountains, there aren't very many canyons found in the deciduous forest biome. There are a few and one of them is the Oak Creek Canyon. This is a very popular tourist attraction. This is one of few canyons found in the deciduous forest biome.

Islands

The deciduous forest biome has no islands. There might be a few island that have tropical rain forests on them but there are probably not any islands that have deciduous forests on them. This is a reason that the deciduous forest biome doesn't have very many water masses (not located near oceans).

Other Landforms

The deciduous forest biome has little to no landforms located in it. You can find a few but the are located far and wide from each other and are very rare. This biome is mostly made up of trees and other plants.

Biotic Factors

American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle- Genes: Haliaeetus Species: leucocephalus. The American bald eagle is a very fierce looking bird. It's name in Latin means "the sea eagle with a white head." The bald eagle is the United States national bird. Benjamin Franklin suggested that it be the Sild Turkey because the bald eagle was a bird "of bad moral character", but he was outvoted. The bald eagle lives about 40-45 years in captivity and around 25 years in the wild. It is one of the largest birds seen flying in the United States. The bald eagle stands from about 30.4-36.4 inches and has a wing span of about 5-8 feet long.

Duck-bill Platypus

Genes: Ornithorhynchus Species: anatinus. The duck-bill platypus lives in the deciduous forests in Australia. The size of this platypus is around half the size of an average house cat. It has thick, brown fur covering its whole body except for its bill and feet. The large tail of a duck-bill platypus is made of fatty tissue used to store energy. The body is streamlined and flat. It has short legs and webbed front feet (the back feet are partially webbed). The male duck-bill platypus stores venom for protection. This platypus has a bill like a duck's and it is very sensitive to touch.

Eastern Chipmunk

Genes: Tamias Species: striatus. The eastern chipmunk is very cute, little animal. It is a ground-dwelling squirrel that is about 5-6 inches long and weighs 3 ounces. This chipmunk has a brownish-red colored fur. The eastern chipmunk lives in forests and at the edge of forests and are also found around suburban and rural areas.

European Red Squirrel

The European red squirrel lives in European deciduous forests. Sometimes they live in gardens and parks. Same as other squirrels the European red squirrel is a rodent. They have strong teeth to open pinecones and and seeds. They have four toes on each foot each equipped with four sharp claws to help them cling to the bark when climbing trees.

White-tailed Deer

The white-tailed deer has a grayish colored fur in the winter and more red comes out in the summer time. Only the males have antlers and they also shed from January to March and grow out again from April to May. Male white-tailed deer can weigh up to 400 pounds and females weigh around 70-200 pounds. They normally come out at night. White-tailed deer eat mostly grass, nuts, and acorns.

Common Lime

The common lime is a tall, stately tree that grows in the deciduous forests in Europe, the British Isles, and the USA. In the USA it is known as the linden tree. This tree can grow to be 120-130 feet tall. The common lime can live up to 500 years. Flowers on the common lime are yellowish to dull white in color, and sweetly scented.

Lady Fern

You may have a lady fern in your house. Many people use the lady fern to decorate their home. However, the lady fern is not only found in homes it is also found in deciduous forests. It can grow to be 24-26 inches tall. Its light green, lacy leaves are about 24-30" long and around 6-9" wide and are tapered on both sides.

Pecan Tree

The pecan tree and grow to enormous heights of 180 feet tall. This tree has and upright growing pattern. The bark is pale gray or whitish brown, scaly, and deep furrowed. The leaves of the pecan tree grow in groups of 11-17 and each has a point at their tip. The width of each leaf I'd estimated to be around 3 inches.

White Birch

The white birch tree is a small to medium sized tree that averages at about 70-80 feet tall. As far as a tree goes it doesn't live very long with a life span of about 140 years. Small hear-shaped leaves are found at the end of drooping branches and twigs. You can identify this tree by its white bark that easily peels off and is marked by narrow, horizontal stripes.

White Oak

The white oak can grow to be 80-100 feet tall. This tree has an upright growing pattern. The white birches bark is a whitish gray color. The life span of this tree undisturbed is about 500-600 years. In. May and early June male flowers appear in slender catkins. Female flowers are not noticeable to the naked eye.

Ecological Concerns or Issues

Natural Disasters

Many natural disasters occur in the deciduous forest biome. We cannot stop these horrible events from happening but we can help reduce damage by not taking anything else from the forests (not cutting down as many trees). Some of the natural disasters that occur are landslides, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and wild fires.

Human Destruction

Humans play a humongous part in the destruction done to our deciduous forests. We are careless with our actions and cut down trees like there's no tomorrow. If we don't stop these actions then there won't be a tomorrow. Many companies are trying to reduce the number of trees that are chopped down by collecting fallen trees and only cutting down the one that are rotten or small that are most likely not needed. This is one of the big reasons why our deciduous forests are disappearing.