Temperate forest

Climate, latitude, altitude and temperature are variables that determine the type of vegetation that grows in a place. On our planet, there are large forest masses spread throughout the territory. Depending on the variables that we have mentioned previously, these types of forests have some characteristics or others. Today we are going to talk about the temperate forest. As their name indicates, they are characteristic forests of the regions that have a temperate climate. These forests exist in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

In this article we are going to tell you all the characteristics, relief, location, flora and fauna of the temperate forest.

Main features

These forests are mainly characterized by existing in temperate climate regions. Here, the average annual temperatures are normally around 18 degrees. Precipitation is the main aspect to take into account when determining a forest. The type of vegetation that develops in this kind of forest requires average rainfall that has been moderately high. In this case, the values ​​are between 600 mm and 2000 mm per year.

In this case, the conditions can vary enormously in benefits and geographical indications. This means that there are areas of temperate forests that have higher humidity than others. Normally this humidity values ​​are between 60-80%. The flora and fauna that develop in temperate forests depend on many species and their relationship with the environment.

Layers of temperate forest vegetation

The first thing that must be taken into account in the development of the temperate forest is the relationship of life with abiotic agents. That is, both flora and fauna are related to each other and to their environment. The geology of the terrain is also conditioned by the prevailing climatic conditions. It is these geological formations that give rise to the growth and development of five layers of vegetation in the temperate forest. Let’s analyze what these layers are:

  • Initial layer of mosses and lichens. Normally this layer is at ground level and depends on a high level of humidity.
  • Secondary layer of grass and creeping plants. This part of the flora develops thanks to the action of the sun that falls on the earth’s surface. These plants also feed on the humidity of the environment to be able to develop.
  • A third stage of shrubs that are usually either blueberries or blackberries. There are also other species of shrubs that do not bear fruit.
  • Layer of young trees. This layer is usually of a certain height and are those young trees that are approximately 10-20 years old. These trees begin to shade and the morphology of the ecosystem changes.
  • Layer of larger trees. It is the last layer with the largest trees that are around 60 feet tall.

The temperate forest soil has a high level of fertility and is rich in nutrients. This is because they have a great abundance of deciduous trees. Since the fall of the leaves is done abundantly, the contribution of organic matter that decomposes in the soil is higher. A large number of branches also fall and all this causes a high biological activity. Numerous organisms feed on this decomposing organic matter that help balance the ecosystem.

Temperate forest fauna

As we have mentioned before, forests occupy large areas characterized by having an abundant and uniform precipitation. Temperatures in these areas normally follow a seasonal pattern. We can see very different benefits from each other. The temperate forest usually appears a little before the taigas. It is normal to confuse the taiga with temperate forests since they also have some characteristics in common. The way to distinguish it easily is that it is not as lush as other forests and has a much less thick and dense canopy. This means that we can see the sky from the understory.

These characteristics mentioned condition the growth and development of a fauna and it has adapted to these environments. In the temperate forest there are some animals that are responsible for hunting and controlling populations such as the wolf. The fauna of the temperate forest is diverse. It is not the same as in tropical forests since conditions there are more favorable. Some of its native species hibernate during frost in order to escape the deadly cold of winter. These species resurface in spring and continue their life cycle.

Many of these animals are not visible for much of the year as they are in their burrows hibernating. There are also some species with nocturnal habits and others that are hidden in herbs. But there are a large number of animals such as birds, insects and rodents, as well as large herbivores such as deer, wild boar, elk and deer, among others. There are ferocious hunters such as the wolf and some omnivorous animals such as bears, wildcats and foxes. Squirrels, salamanders and woodpeckers are common in these ecosystems.

Flora, relief and location

The sequoias are giant trees that belong to the flora of the temperate forests and many of their species predominate in the deciduous forests. They are adapted to the arrival of the cold and are prepared to survive some frosts and snowfalls. In other temperate forests we can find conifers whose main characteristic is to have needle-shaped leaves to better survive these environments. Depending on the predominant species we can find temperate deciduous forests or temperate coniferous forests.

It is also common to speak of mixed forests where there are broadleaf deciduous and evergreen evergreen. In these forests there are species such as sequoias that are giant trees capable of reaching 275 meters in height throughout their thousands of years of existence. Some of the other more well-known species are maple, spruce, fir, and seed trees like walnut.

The relief of the temperate forest usually develops in plains, valleys or mountains indistinctly. It just depends on the geographic region. Where greater amounts of human population are found are in the plains since it is to take advantage of this to improve the richness of the soil. We can find these forests in both hemispheres. They grow near the Polar areas such as Alaska. Temperate forests are found in Europe, Asia, Scandinavia, England, Finland, and Canada, among others.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the temperate forest and its main characteristics.

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