Vegetation consists mainly of deciduous trees.
A decrease in latitude leads to an increase in the number of broadleaf trees that are evergreen and keep their leaves all winter.
Left: The upper tree trunks in a temperate deciduous forest. Photo courtesy Naomi Woods. Below and Bottom: Mosses and lichens make up the first level of vegetation; the flowering dogwood trees are low and bushy, and often grow under the canopy. Photos by Maya Walters.
|The forest vegetation can be divided in up to five layers. On the ground there are lichens and various types of mosses, which are prevalent on the trees also. Next is an herb layer, made up of perennial forbs, which are broad-leaved plants. A third layer consists of shrubs. Many shrubs, such as mountain laurel and huckleberries, are members of the heath family.|
|Small trees and saplings constitute another slightly taller layer, which also includes species like sourwood and dogwood. The last layer is the canopy, a combination of the species characteristic of the broadleaf forest, and forms a tree stratum sixty to one-hundred feet tall.|
|Tree species common in the broadleaf deciduous forest include: oak (Quercus spp.), maple (Acer spp.), beech (Fagus spp.), chestnut (Castanea spp.), hickory (Carya spp.), elm (Ulmus spp.), and basswood or linden (Tilia spp.). Different species of each tree exist on separate continents.||Most of the animals in the broadleaf deciduous forests are mast eaters, which means they eat nuts such as acorns, or are omnivores. Many have arboreal lives, and a great percentage hibernate during the winter.|
[plants] [forest life] [nuts] [seasons]
view the condensed version of the broadleaf forest article for faster printing/reading
return to the temperate forests article