Temperate deciduous forest
is a forest where the trees seasonally drop their leaves.
Temperate vs Tropical and
More exactly, they drop their leaves typically during
winter - the cold
This is different from tropical and subtropical deciuous forests, where
the trees drop their leaves during dry
though the areas where
those forests grow often do
have a dry and a wet season, the leaf drop in those forests is not
quite as season-dependent (as in the temperate deciduous forests) - the
tropical and subtropical deciuous forest trees can drop their leaves at
any time when the climate gets dry, and remain leafless during
Where are these Forests Found and
leaf-dropping forests are found in Europe, Russia, Korea, Japan, China,
South America, Central Mexico, Canada and the United States.
in those forests include birch, aspen, beech, elm, oak and maple. Some
of the animals in these forests include raccoons, wolves, deer, foxes,
beavers, bears and squirrels. Many of those animals hibernate.
Why Do Trees Drop their
main reason is water conservation, and this applies both to trees that
drop their leaves because of winter and those that drop them because of
dry conditions. By dropping their leaves, they cannot transpire and
they are able to keep the water for winter. But there are both good and
bad side effectes. Advantages include the fact that dropped leaves add
nutrients to the soil; disadvantages include the energy it costs to
grow new leaves every year. But part of that energy is well worth the
cost, as maintaining leaves and repairing them from insect bites etc
also costs energy. And evergreen trees suffer much larger water loss
during winter / dry season.
Flowering while Leafless
of these trees flower while they are leafless. This is to help
pollination - the flowers are more visible and also easier for wind to
pollinate while there are no leaves. The disadvantage of this is that
in some countries these plants risk their flowers getting damaged by
Autumn Colours in
but not all temperate leaf-dropping forests put on beautiful colour
shows in the autumn. As the leafdropping season comes along, the trees
start photosynthetizing less and less, so the green pigments disappear
and give the other pigments such as yellow, orange and red a chance to
become visible. This only happens in areas with significant seasonal
changes when it comes to daylight and temperatures.
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