Jacqueline Soderberg

What is a Temperate Forest?

  1. Temperate forests are found mainly in the Eastern United States, Europe, Canada, China, and Japan.
  2. Temperature ranges from -30 C to 30 C, with an average of 10 C
  3. 750 to 1,500 mm of rain every year
  4. Overlaps with the taiga occasionally
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Types and How They Adapt

There are 3 layers of plant life in temperate forests:

1. Forest Floor

  • Small plants like: ferns, lichen, wildflowers, and moss.

2. Middle Level

  • Shrubs and Hardwood trees: oak, birch, sweet gum, maple, magnolia, and beech.

3. Conifers

  • Spruce, fir, and pine.

Trees adapt using their leaves

  1. In Spring, trees grow light leaves that can easily capture sunlight, making photosynthesis occur faster.

  2. In Fall, trees stop the flow of water to their leaves by sealing the area between the stem of a leaf and the trunk. When this occurs, the leaves start to die since they are lacking sunlight and water, which leads to a lack of chlorophyll. Since there is no chlorophyll, the leaves start changing to the reds, yellows, and oranges.

  3. In Winter, the leaves have turned brown and died, falling to the ground, and the tree is now dormant.


Types and How They Adapt

There are 3 main types of animals in temperate forests:

  1. Insects, salamanders, spiders, turtles, frogs, and slugs
  2. Birds: hawks, cardinals, woodpeckers, and snowy owls
  3. Mammals: raccoons, white-tailed deer, porcupines, red foxes, and opossums

Animals adapt 3 different ways

1. Food storage

  • Squirrels, chipmunks, and jays have adapted to store food in the winter.
  • The cool weather keeps the food from decomposing in the hollow trees

2. Migration

  • Birds have adapted to migrate towards warmer places when winter comes to their habitat.

3. Hibernation

  • Mammals have adapted to hibernation in the winter so that they can survive the cold.
  • They go into a state of sleep, they do not wake up til winter is over, and they have no need to eat or drink when they are hibernating.


How Humans Impacted Temperate Forests

  • Throughout Europe and America, only 1% of temperate forests have been preserved. The rest have been logged, grazed, undergone conversion into farmland, and had controlled burns.
  • When humans affect the forests, they hurt the composition, structure, and diversity of the forest.
  • During the industrial revolution in America, temperate biomes were severely hurt when Americans used the trees for fuels and materials.
  • Now, the forests are closer to industrialized land, so they are more susceptible to air pollution.


Temperate Deciduous Forests [Internet]. 2015. 2015. Durham(NH):Nature Works; [2015, cited 2016 Jan 28] . Available from: http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/nwep8c.htm

Biomes [Internet]. 2004. 2004. Wheeling Jesuit University/NASA-supported Classroom of the Future; [2005 Apr 28, cited 2016 Jan 28] . Available from: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/msese/earthsysflr/dforestA.html

Reich PR, Frelich LF. 2002. Temperate Deciduous Forests. Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change (2002) [Internet]. [2002, cited 2016 Jan 28] Volume 2. Available from: http://cedarcreek.umn.edu/biblio/fulltext/t1896.pdf

Przyborski PP. Temperate Deciduous Forest [Internet]. Earth Observatory, cited 2016 Jan 28] . Available from: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Experiments/Biome/biotemperate.php

Deciduous Woodlands [Internet]. 2014. BBC; [2014, cited 2016 Jan 28] . Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/ecosystems/deciduous_woodlands_rev1.shtml

Miller GM, Spoolman SS. 2009. Living in the Environment [Internet]. 16th. Belmont(CA):Brooks/Cole; [2009, cited 2016 Jan 28] Available from: https://e.edim.co/8088328/Digital_LITE_17.pdf?Expires=1454029663&Signature=GbyFVzekiU2eleDCaLWVqRCD6NexCkqw7LWY3rCCDCCXjm7GEaerKw~1g3pe6ENmrO4U-UFVgX3lFGeQyAeP9aF3Bvg3yD-2Lcm9ItIu8zBFpnbpx3pU9GuYA09Phg~QV~DOvRtFlmo3-VA7XK9j5nGTN7-DPrAV3u9lurSjOMQ5fh2krASyLCD6gzn7MT2FIh4DmVkP48mdkEtlWk3cV4

Viau EV. 1999. A Food Web in the Deciduous Forest Biome [Internet]. [1999, cited 2016 Jan 28] . Available from: http://www.world-builders.org/lessons/less/biomes/deciduous/decweb.html