Temperate Forests : Temperate Forests What is a temperate forest?
- “Four-Season Forests”
- Four distinct seasons with well-defined winters
- Moderate climate
- High precipitation
- Includes 3-4 distinct tree species per square kilometer
- Wide variety of animal life
Location : Location Temperate forests occur
between approximately 25°
and 50° latitude in both hemispheres
- United States
Topographic Features : Topographic Features Soil:
- Very fertile with nutrients from decaying leaves
- 3 Layers: canopy, understory, forest floor
- Temperatures range from hot in the summer with highs of 86º F, to extremely cold in the winter with lows of -22 F.
- Temperate forests receive between 20-60 inches of precipitation annually, usually in the form of rain and snow.
Flora : Flora Trees; three main groups
- Deciduous: lose their leaves in winter; Ex: maples, oaks, chestnuts
- Coniferous: have needles for leaves, “evergreens”; Ex: Pines, firs, cedars
- Broad-leaved evergreens: have flat, leathery, waxy leaves, which helps keep them from losing too much water in winter when the air is dry
- Azaleas, Laurel, Huckleberries
Some plants go dormant
Fauna : Fauna Carnivores:
- Black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, wolves, eagles, snakes
- Squirrels, rabbits, koala bears, skunks, deer, elk, humming birds, raccoons,
- Owls, boars, wombats, fish
Some animals hibernate
Resources : Resources Timber
Importance & Ecological Challenges : Importance & Ecological Challenges Temperate forests provide habitats to a great number of diverse organisms.
Temperate forests forests have a global climate-buffering capacity, so their destruction may cause large-scale changes in global climate. Logging, or over-forestation.
Fossil fuel pollution
Endangered species (The Northern Spotted owl; possible extinction)