DECIDUOUS FORESTS Essay, Research Paper
Deciduous forests are on of the 7 major Earth biomes. Deciduous forests are located in the eastern half of the United States, Canada, Europe, and parts of Russia, China, and Japan. They have rich soil, and a large diversity of animal and plant species. Starting in the fall leaves change color; then they fall to the ground for the winter, and in the spring bud and re-grow, starting the process over again. Through out the seasons, the temperature greatly varies. This biome has very cold winters and hot summers.
Deciduous forests are homes to many animals like the Black Bear, Fox, Brown Bear, Cardinal, Gray Squirrel, and Raccoon. Each animal must have special adaptations to live in this biome. Many animals hibernate through out the long and cold winters. Some examples would be both bears and squirrels. In addition to hibernation, bears also have thick fur coats to keep them warm. In the fall the squirrels collect and burry nuts for food during the winter. There are also many plant species in this biome. Plants like the Burning Bush, Dogwood, Fringe Tree, Fragrant Sumac, Ginkgo, Oaks, Sassafras, and Sweet Gum are located here. All of the former mentioned loose their leaves in the winter, making them deciduous.
Because the dead leaves fall to the ground, many decomposers can be found in deciduous forests. Decomposers like mushrooms, ants and termites are very common in these forests. These decomposers change the leaves into nutrients causing the soil to be very rich and good for plants. This generally causes a thick under canopy in the forest. Many small plants, and vines grow here as well.
The deciduous forest has a climate with both extremes, hot and cold. The average temperature is 50 degrees F, but this varies. Temperatures of 0 and lower (winter months) to temperatures above 100 (summer months) have been recorded. This average rainfall for this biome is 30 – 60 inches a year; most of which is in the springtime when the plants are recovering from the winter months. Precipitation is scarce in the winter, and it normally comes in a frozen state, and is useless to plants and animals. In the summer, precipitation is again scarce, but when it does rain, it is in downpours.
Deforestation is creating many problems for these biomes. Because they are located in many rapidly growing areas, the trees are being cut down with the bat of an eye. The more forest that is cut down, the fewer habitat space that is available for other organisms. Over abundant deer has become a large problem in deciduous forests with a high human population. Not only does deforestation affect the animals of this biome, it also can increase erosion and interrupt many of the Earth?s naturally balanced cycles. Not to mention, it decreases the aesthetic qualities of any area.
Deciduous forests are one of the worlds 7 major biomes. It contains a variety of animal and plant species. It also has a very diverse climate that occurs over its four seasons. The temperatures are very cold in the winter months and hot in the summer months. Many people also inhabit this biome, sharing the variety and beauty with the animals. The trees are tall, with many leaves that change color and fall in the colder months. There is a thick under canopy due to the leaves that create a fertile top layer of soil. Because of the rapid human growth in some of these areas, deforestation has become a problem. Many animals are loosing their homes for the benefit of humans. This biome is very widespread through out the world, and is necessary to the ecological balance. It is truly a diverse and complex portion of the world.