Temperate Deciduous Forest

Brandon Thurston

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The Temperate Deciduous Forest is located mostly in the northern hemisphere, in North America, Asia, and Europe. It is also found is small areas in Australasia and South America. The average annual temperature in the temperate deciduous forest is 50° F, and 30 to 60 inches of rainfall a year.

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Climate

The temperate Deciduous Forest has an average rainfall of 30 to 60 inches per year and an average temperature of 50° F. There are four distinct seasons, spring, summer, fall, and winter. In the fall the leaves turn a variety of colors, like red, yellow, and orange. During winter, the trees lose their leaves.

Plant Life

The temperate deciduous forest is well known for its trees, but it also contains shrubs, herb-like plants, mosses, and lichens. The trees there are deciduous, as mentioned in the name. Among the plants there, there are oak trees, maple, chestnut, azaleas, and rhododendrons. They have all adapted in the way that they lean towards the sun and how they have developed root systems that enable them to absorb nutrients as fast as possible, due to competition.

Animals

A few of the animals in the temperate deciduous forest biome include the bald eagle, the white tailed deer, the black bear, the duckbill platypus, and the coyote. The bald eagle is a bird of prey located primarily in the United States. It is endangered, because of the use of the now illegal chemical, DDT, although it has no natural predators.



The white tailed deer is a primary consumer, being an herbivore, and it is preyed upon by many animals, including the coyote, another animal living in the temperate deciduous forest. The coyote is a carnivore and has few, if not any, predators. Next, there is the duckbill platypus, a native of Australia, it is the only mammal to lay eggs. It lives both underwater and on land and the males have venomous barbs on their hind legs. Finally, there is the black bear. It is omnivorous and occupies most of North America, and like most bears, it hibernates during the winter.


These animals all have adapted in their own way to protect themselves from the environment. The black bear, the white tailed deer, and the coyote have both adapted to the winters by developing a furry coat. The platypus has developed a pair of webbed feet that it uses to move through its watery environment. The bald eagle has adapted to change its breeding habits in different areas, like in the north it breeds in the spring, while in the south it breeds in the winter to protect the young from the cold. Most of the animals have adapted to look like the ground, and they taste plants whenever possible to see if they would be an eligible food source.


In the temperate deciduous forest, the white tailed deer and the rabbit compete for vegetation in the and the bear and coyote compete for animals that they kill. The coyotes prey upon the deer, limiting the population of the deer. The bald eagle eats rodents and small birds, but the population has been crippled by human interference. Cougars prey upon deer and rodents, but their population is limited by the population of their prey. Owls also feed on small birds, competing with the bald eagle, which limits the population of both species.

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Additional Information

The temperate deciduous forest has lost a lot of land to people building houses. Some of the forests are protected, but even then, poachers hunt the animals illegally, some of them being endangered. It also has several layers in the trees, much like the rain forest.


Ecological Concerns

This biome is currently being threatened by human expansion for housing and logging has left many forests bare. Some of the species are already endangered, such as the blue spotted salamander and the wood turtle. This biome is important, because it acts as a habitat for numerous animals and plants, many of which we need to survive, such as trees or animals for food.