Temperate Forest Ecosystems

 

 

  • Climatic conditions of the Northern Hemisphere humid midlatitude regions give rise to the forests dominated by broadleaf deciduous trees
  • In the mild, moist climates of the Southern Hemisphere, temperate evergreen forests are dominant
  • Deciduous forests in most parts of the Earth have largely disappeared, cleared for agriculture
     

 

 

 

 

 

  • Asiatic broadleaf forest (eastern China, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea)
    • Similar to the North American deciduous forests but with more broadleaf evergreen species
  • Southern Hemisphere
    • Southern Andes — deciduous forests
    • Southern Chile — broadleaf evergreen rain forests
    • Tasmania and New Zealand — evergreen forests
       

 

 

 

  • The end of the growing season in the broadleaf deciduous forests is marked by the autumn colors
     

 

 

 

  • There are four vertical layers in deciduous forests that are highly developed and unevenly aged
    • Upper canopy — dominant tree species
    • Lower tree canopy or understory
    • Shrub layer
    • Ground layer of herbs, ferns, and mosses
  • A diversity of animal life is associated with this vertical stratification and the growth forms of plants
    • Highest diversity in the forest occurs on and just below the ground layer

 

 

  • Differences in climate, bedrock, and drainage are reflected in the variety of soil conditions present
  • Temperate forest soils
  • Forest ecosystem primary productivity is largely influenced by temperatures and the length of the growing season