● Typically found in the Northern Hemisphere in the Eastern United States, Canada, Europe, China,
● However, few smaller ones are found in the Southern Hemisphere in places such as Australia,
Southern Asia, and South America.
● They are located in the mid-latitude areas meaning that they are found between the polar regions
and the tropics.
○ The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee, USA)
○ Northeast China Plain (China)
○ The European Temperate Deciduous Broadleaf Forest (Europe)
○ The Manchurian mixed forest (Asia)
Climate: The forests are usually located in 25° and 50° latitude in both
hemispheres. Has four distinct seasons; winter, spring, summer, and autumn.
Soil: The deciduous trees shed their leaves in the autumn, as the leaves decay
the nutrients are absorbed into the soil. The soil that is present in deciduous
forests tend to have a variety of soils.
Temperature: Since the forests are located all over the world the temperature
varies in each region, but because the forests lose their leaves each fall the
typical temperature of 50°F.
Rainfall: Like with everything else the amount of rainfall will vary upon location,
but it has been recorded that the average rainfall is between 30 and 60 inches
Animals: This biome has a large diversity of life. The animals that live in
temperate deciduous forests must be able to adapt to all the seasons. Some of
the animals in this biome migrate or hibernate during the winter months.
Ex: spiders, frogs, turtles, salamanders, birds; broad-winged hawk, cardinals,
woodpeckers, mammals; white-tailed deer, raccoons, and opossums.
Plants: Temperate deciduous forests have a large variety of plant species. There
are three levels of plants. The first are; Lichen, Moss, Ferns, and wildflowers can
be found along the forest floor. The second level is made up of shrubs. And the
third level is composed of trees like; maple, oak, and birch.
In deciduous forests productivity is high, containing dense forests along with
deep canopies. Species Richness is also high since there are many different
species per acre.
In the fall and early winter when the days are shorter photosynthesis stops
the chlorophyll breaks down, revealing other pigments. In the spring when the
days become longer the leaves grow back due to photosynthesis.
Human Impact (MDC)
● We have introduced invasive species to the forests.
○ The Hemlock wooly adelgid was accidentally introduced in the 1920s. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that
they’re being killed at a rate of 8-15 square kilometers per year.
○ The emerald ash borer was brought in the 1990s and has killed tens of millions of ash trees.
● As we cut down forests for construction of properties, we leave small patches of the
forest called forest fragmentation.
○ These small patches are too small to maintain species diversity making it difficult for species to remain
healthy and resilient to disease
○ EPA estimates that more than 19% of all forests in the U.S. consist of smaller patches rather than a “core
forest” where biodiversity occurs.
● Surprisingly, the reduction of hunting for large grazing animals, such as deer, has
caused overgrazing leading to the destruction of these forests.
○ A study by The Nature Conservancy shows that almost 1/3rd of deciduous forests in New York state were
being destroyed by overgrazing from large animals.
Human Impact (LDC)
● The country has the highest rates of deforestation of any country in the
○ Intensive logging began in the 1950s causing the 60% forest coverage in the country to
drop down to less than 2%.
● Climate change is also negatively affecting agriculture and rural
communities in Haiti, which worsens the effects of environmental resource
loss and terrible farming practices.
How is it handled?
U.S.A: In the U.S. deciduous forests are now recovering, for example in New
England there is more forest present now than there was 100 years ago. From
Minnesota and MIchigan eastward toward New England, the land is now being
● The country has realized how detrimental their decisions were.
○ President Michel Martelly has launched a program to double the forest coverage by 2016.
○ They aim to plant 50m trees a year to pioneer a reforestation campaign.