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The Temperate Forest Biome
Ecosystems where dominant plant life are trees that lose their leaves after a singe growing season. In temperate forests, the leaves change color in the autumn and fall from the tree before winter. In tropical forests, the leaves off in the dry season and grow again when rains arrive.
(Shlessinger Science Library)
Location of the Biome:
- Most temperate deciduous forests are located in the eastern United States, Canada, Europe, China, Japan, and parts of Russia.
Five Common Plant Species in This Biome
- American Beech. (Tree)- Grows in Southern and Eastern parts of the US. Grows best in rich, moist soil. Does not like the city, probably because of carbon monoxide.
- Guelder Rose– Grows in Scotland and England, likes semi shade and low altitudes. Member of honeysuckle family.
- Lady Fern- You may have lady fern in your house! It is a decorative plant. Also grows in the wild in North America and Eurasia.
- Pecan tree- Can grow to be very tall-like 180 feet. Grows in North America and likes humid climates. We use the nuts of this tree to make things like Pecan pie.
- Carpet moss- Simple, rootless evergreen plants. Can live in a wide variety of habitats, usually grow near water and at bases of trees. Grows in North America and Europe.
Pictures of the Five Plant Species:
Five Common Species of Animals in This Biome
- American Bald Eagle- Large, fierce bird. One of the largest flying birds in the US. Wing span is as long as big dining room table. Females are bigger than males. It is part of the raptor family
- White-tailed Deer- Mostly active at night. Males have antlers and are bigger than females. They are solitary creatures accept when the females have babies. Live in Southern Canada and Mainland US.
- Eastern Chipmunk- Native to North America but can be in Canada too. They only can live to be three old. After two months old they are abandoned by their moms and they live alone after that.
- Duck Billed Platypus- Live in Australia. About as big as a house cat Males have venom for protection. They are a mammal but they lay eggs.
- Fat Dormouse- Also called the Edible Dormouse. It’s often mistaken for a grey squirrel. They live in Africa, Europe, Asia and Japan.
Pictures of the Five Animal Species:
Example of a Climatogram of A temperate Forest:
- This is a climatogram of a Temperate Forest in the area of Peoria, Illinois:
Symbiotic Relationships in This Biome:
- In the Temperate Deciduous forest an example of a mutual symbiotic relationship is between Mycorrhizae Fungi and certain types of trees.
- The fungus covers the fine tree roots with mycelium which forms a coat around the roots to protect them.
- Both the tree and the fungus provide each other with nutrients.
- The Mycorrhizae act as a filter for the tree to protect it from pollutants.
Soil and its Impact on People in this Biome:
- Brown forest soil called alfisols – It is found under and around Broad leaf trees which need a lot of nutrients.
- This soil is less acidic than soil in a coniferous forest.
- It is a rich soil which is a result of the leaves of the trees that fall during autumn.
- Ultisols are the alfisols of the Southeastern U.S. They are older soils that do not have as much nutrients and they are more worn than the alfisols.
- They are more degraded than the alfisols, as a result of the agricultural human tradition in the South.
- Soils in Temperate forests are impacted a lot by humans because many humans live near Temperate forests and convert the land into cropland for farming. In turn, the soil in Temperate forests nearby can be highly affected by over salinization from the irrigation of the land.
Soil (see slide 11)
Rainfall (abundant, relatively spread out precipitation throughout the year)
Seasons (temperatures change with seasons)
Animals (see slide 6)
Plants (see slide 4)
Insects (June Beetles, Snow Bugs, Cicada)
Fungi (see slide 10)
Biotic and Abiotic Features of the Temperate Forest Biome:
Impacts of Humans on Temperate Forest Biome:
- Humans clear forests for agriculture, livestock grazing, timber harvesting and urban development
- We convert diverse forests into less biodiverse plantations
- Humans clear forests to extract minerals and for energy.
- Forest fires often started by humans, usually unintentionally have destroyed parts of many temperate forests around the world.
Environmental Damage and Possible Solutions:
- Environmental damage can include all the trees that are cut down during forest felling, the vegetation burnt during forest fires and also the soil becoming less rich generally polluted
- All these effects hinder the growth of the species in the forest which in turn makes for less possible biodiversity.
- Congress could pass laws that would allow a certain degree of care when starting a fire near a forest, or banning campfires and BBQ’s in or near forests at all.
- Big companies would stop converting Temperate Biome areas into cropland, or tree plantations if there are certain laws against it.
- We could think about tons of solutions , yet the most important is for us to be aware of the organisms around us and to take care when we live near them.
- So don’t start forest fires. Watch where your driving if your near a wooded area so as to prevent possible road kill.
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