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Deciduous forests are forests that consist predominantly of broad-leafed trees that shed their leaves during a season, typically winter. Temperate deciduous forests occur in temperate regions with a distinct winter season and year-round rainfall. Deciduous forests found in tropical regions are called monsoon forests.
See the fact file below for more information on the deciduous forests or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Deciduous forests worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
MORE ABOUT DECIDUOUS FORESTS
- The temperate deciduous forest biome (a biome is a vast ecological area with plants and animals within it adapted to its particular environment) experiences all four seasons – spring, summer, fall and winter.
- During the fall or autumn season, the leaves of the trees change color. By winter, the trees have shed their leaves. The four seasons are easily recognized in the forest and generally last 3 months each.
- The average temperature in this biome is 50˚F (10˚C). Come winter, though, temperatures could drop below freezing point.
- The deciduous forest biome receives about 30 – 60 inches of rainfall each year, placing it second in the most rainy biome after the rainforest.
- Deciduous trees typically have broad leaves. By comparison, the majority of trees native to boreal or snow forests have pin-like leaves, like pine needles.
- Deciduous forest biomes can be found in the eastern half of North America and the central part of Europe. There are also many temperate deciduous biomes in Asia, with major parts found in eastern China, Japan and southwest Russia. There are two major deciduous forest areas in South America — along Paraguay’s central eastern coast, and in southern Chile. New Zealand and southeastern Australia have deciduous forest biomes as well.
- Because of tree characteristics of shedding leaves in certain seasons, the soil in this biome is typically very fertile and nutrient-rich from leaf litter decomposing.
- Many of the trees in this biome have sap. The trees evolved sap to prevent their roots from freezing in winter months.
- The growing season in this biome lasts for about 6 months.
- Some insects in the biome cannot survive the winter so they lay eggs before they die. The eggs survive winter and hatch during the spring season.
- Many trees in this biome have sap, which evolved as a means to prevent roots from freezing in winter. Common animals found in this biome are black bears, coyotes and wolves.
- Black bears, in particular, are the most well-adapted animals for the temperate deciduous forest biome. They have heavy coats of fur that keep them warm in the winter months. Their long claws allow them to climb up trees, an essential characteristic since they make their homes inside tree hollows. Black bears are also omnivores, meaning, their diet is composed of both plants and animals. But the bear’s most important adaptive skill is hibernation.
- To date, large parts of deciduous forest biome have been lost to farming and urbanization. Many of the animals that are native to this ecological habitat have been displaced and lost their homes. And while there has been a significant move in the preservation of deciduous forests around the world, many animals have fallen prey to indiscriminate poaching.
- Deciduous forest biomes are important to human lives, too. They are a great source of food, timber and oxygen.
- Humans are also bringing harm to these ecological areas. Indiscriminate logging has thinned out the forests. Acid rain, caused by CO2 emissions from factories and vehicles, also damage the leaves of the trees, making them less resistant to pests, plant diseases and frost during the winter season. Acid rain also causes plants to produce smaller and fewer seeds.
- Plants in the deciduous forest adapt in two ways: they lean more towards the sun and they use their roots to soak up water and nutrients from the ground.
- The deciduous forest biome is very close to the taiga biome or the snow forest. The temperature in these forests do not reach extreme levels and are generally pleasant during the summer months. The name deciduous comes from the Latin word deciduous which means ‘fall down or off’ pertaining to the leaves of trees that fall off during autumn and winter seasons.
- During the autumn/fall season, the leaves of the trees in this biome change color. This is because they stop producing chlorophyll (which gives the leaves their green color) during this time.
- The trees shedding their leaves for the winter season is very important. After losing their leaves, the trees in this biome go through a period of dormancy during the winter months, where they don’t grow or consume excessive amounts of water and nutrients.
- Another problem facing the deciduous forest biome is the introduction of non-native flora and fauna (plants and animals). These non-native species compete with the native species for food and space, thereby threatening the latter. Often aggressive, prolific or with no natural predators, introduced species upset the balance of the existing ecosystem in the forest.
- One way to save the forests – not just the deciduous biome – is to recycle.
Deciduous Forest Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about deciduous forests across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Deciduous Forest worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the deciduous forests which are forests that consist predominantly of broad-leafed trees that shed their leaves during a season, typically winter. Temperate deciduous forests occur in temperate regions with a distinct winter season and year-round rainfall. Deciduous forests found in tropical regions are called monsoon forests.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Deciduous Forest Facts
- Forest Fact Finder
- A Forest of Color
- Layers in the Forest
- Fruitful Forests
- Forest Word Creator
- Friends of the Forest
- Deciduous Residents
- Forest Four
- Protecting the Forests
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.