Temperate Deciduous Forests Essay, Research Paper
A Deciduous forest is one in which plants shed their leafs in the fall. The trees change colors as the seasons cycle; the green leaves of summer give way to the bare branches of winter.
Temperate Deciduous forests are found in Eastern North America, Europe and China. These areas each have a growing season between 140- 300 days with 75-150 cm of rain per year. Due to the extensive amount of leaf litter, the soils are fertile enough to allow a large diversity of plant species within this biome. Dominating the diversities are broad-leafed deciduous hardwood trees such as oak, hickory, maple, ash, beech and others depending upon each forest?s location.
Human activity is common among temperate deciduous forests. Humans use the wood of these trees for things such as construction, firewood, art?etc. The forests are commonly cleared for farming and to create communities. Due to this, the temperate forest?s biome is one of the most altered biomes on the planet. Animals today who find refuge here in this biome have been forced to adapt to not only such changes as the weather?s seasons but also those enforced by humans. These animals include bears, deer, bobcats, raccoons, squirrels as well as many birds and invertebrates. The majority of the forest?s animals find home just beneath the forest floor. These creatures receive and constant food supply from the seeds that fall from each dominant tree. However, many of the food chains in the forest are detritus based.
Threats geared towards this biome/ ecosystem?s structure and composition are nonnative and native insects and diseases, air pollution, reduction of fire frequency ?etc. Forest fires play an important role in maintaining the bulk and health of the plant life within. With each fire, overgrowth is cut back and new life is given an opportunity to generate, plant diseases as well as hardwood competition are both controlled and reduced.