Temperate Deciduous Forest Biome Facts
Temperate Deciduous Forest Biome Description
In the polar front zone you will find the deciduous forest biome. The battle rages on between the tropical air masses and the polar air masses. The temperatures can drastically change from one day to the next. They can also change rapidly on the same day. There are distinct seasons where the summers are warmer than in the winters.
The taiga biomes are usually North of the temperate deciduous forest biomes. However, with the changes in environment due to human issues including global warming, they often overlap. In fact, many people often confuse the two biomes on a regular basis. They certainly do have characteristics during the year that can make that mistake very easy to make.
|Plants||Lichens, maple, oak and walnut trees.|
|Animals||Black bears, squirrels, wolves, salamanders and Pileated woodpeckers.|
|Location||New Zealand, eastern North America, western Asia and Europe.|
The temperate deciduous forest biome is an area that is very cool and rainy most of the time. In the fall the leaves will fall off of the trees. The following spring they will emerge again. During the summer months the temperature will range from 75 to 86 degrees. For those temperate deciduous forest biomes high up in the mountains, they will be at the cooler side of temperatures. The average temperature is about 50 degrees.
It can also snow during the winter in this particular biome. The average precipitation is from 30 to 60 inches per year. The humidity is also a factor in this type of biome. It ranges from 60% to 80% all the time. The largest temperate deciduous forest biome is found in the Northern part of Russian and into Scandinavia. Here you will find 3 ½ million square miles of land covered in trees!
Temperate Deciduous Forest Biome Characteristics
The temperate deciduous forest biome receives a large amount of rain annually. In the summer the polar air masses cause it. In the winter, it is the result of the polar and arctic masses that are moving south. The soil is very rich with nutrients in the temperature deciduous forest biome. This is often due to the falling leaves and twigs that turn to natural fertilizer on the ground.
There are five layers found in the temperature deciduous forest biome. The ground layer is home to moss and to lichens. The herb layer allows for short plants to grow. At the shrub layer you will find huckleberries and many other products. The small tree layer is where the saplings are found. The top layer is the tree stratum where you will find them growing from 60 feet to 100 feet tall. They include maple and oak trees.
The long growing seasons in the temperature deciduous forest biomes make them prime locations for lots of agriculture. The soil tends to be extremely fertile and plants and food resources need lots of nutrients to successfully grow. In the spring there is new life for many plants and trees found in this particular biome.
Temperate Deciduous Forest Biome Flora and Fauna
There are plenty of animals and plants found living in the temperature deciduous forest biome. Birds are plentiful here because there are many insects for them to feed upon. Some of the types of birds you will find in this biome include the eagle and the cardinal. There are some extremely small living creatures including the scorpion, ant and earthworm.
You will also find quite a few larger animals living in the temperate deciduous forest biome. Many of them such as the deer and Black Bear eat grass and shrubs. Others including the fox though feed upon other animals that live in this biome. The winter can be very cold and result in a lack of food. Many birds and other animals migrate from this area during the winter months.
There are other animals living in the temperate deciduous forest biome that hibernate in the winter months. This includes the Black Bear. They eat heavily before hibernation and their coats thicken up to keep them warm. They will emerge from dens when it is spring time and food is more plentiful.
Chipmunks and squirrels living in this biome will store up food including nuts for the winter ahead. They work hard to transport them when they are plentiful so that they don’t struggle to find enough food when they are scarce. The seeds and nuts they store don’t rot due to the cold temperatures.
There are plenty of types of trees that grow in the temperate deciduous forest biome. They include maple and oak trees. In some areas you will find firs and spruce trees. There are also locations where evergreens are present in this particular biome. Many of these trees grow very tall. They create a type of canopy for the lower areas of the forest.
The tallest of all trees that grow in a temperate deciduous forest biome is the Sequoia. They can be up to 275 feet tall and more than 95 feet in circumference. They are found in areas of California in the United States.
However, the canopy is dense rather than thick like in a rainforest. Therefore, the sunlight is able to shine through it for other forms of trees and plants to benefit from. The moss and lichen attach to the trunks of the trees in order to offer additional sources of food for various life forms to consume.
The fact that most humans live in the temperate deciduous forest biome than any other is very important to note. The efforts of humans can be a detriment to the environment. It can result in plants and animals having to make very quick adaptations if they are going to continue to live there. Humans can also be a threat to the overall survival of many of these plants and animals if everyone doesn’t take a careful look at their own actions.
Threats and Conservation
While there are approved hunting seasons such as for deer and elk in the temperate deciduous forest biome, there are also times when these animals are hunted illegally. Such efforts can significantly upset the overall balance within this particular biome. For example there are areas where both bison and elk are almost completely wiped out in the temperate deciduous forest biome.
The temperature deciduous forest biomes continue to be cut down. The trees from these areas are used for construction, firewood, and plenty of other materials that we use all the time. Many of these forest areas are also cleared away so that farmland can be used for growing foods. It is important for these biomes to be conserved though.
We rely on the oxygen from the trees in the temperate deciduous biome more than most people realize. We also need to leave these environments in tact. Otherwise, the animals and plants that are found here will die. There are some conservation efforts in place but the damage has already had a severe impact in many of these biome locations around the world.
A big part of such conservation efforts involves educating the public about what their actions cause. Too often humans take action but don’t realize the ripple effect it will have on all living things in that biome. Even if they do know, they may think that as humans they are more important than these plants or animals. However, we must realize that without them we won’t be able to survive either.