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Deciduous forest

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The deciduous forests are those that are easily recognized by having four different seasons throughout the year. It is the type of forest in which the leaves fall to the ground during the fall to prepare the trees for winter , leaves that will later grow again during the spring . These are areas that, in addition to being constantly exposed to hot and cold air masses , vary considerably in temperature depending on the season.

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What is a deciduous forest?

deciduous forest is one that is characterized by being located in the most temperate places on planet Earth and by having different types of trees that usually lose their leaves during the fall in order to prepare for the harsh winters that the area experiences.

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  • Definition
  • Synonymous
  • Deciduous forest characteristics
  • Deciduous forest types
  • Fauna
  • Flora
  • Weather
  • Temperature
  • Precipitation
  • Location
  • Economic activity
  • Deciduous forest importance
  • Examples

Definition

Deciduous forests are places that are characterized by being made up of plant species , mainly trees, which lose all their leaves in the fall in order to cope with and survive the harsh winter that occurs in the area and later sprout again in the spring . They are forests where the soils have large amounts of nutrients and leaves which little by little decompose to produce a greater amount of sustenance.

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Synonymous

Deciduous forests are also known as estisilva , deciduous forests or temperate deciduous forest .

Deciduous forest characteristics

Deciduous forests have many characteristics. Its trees lose all their leaves in the autumn season to prepare for the arrival of winter , which is quite intense, this biological adaptation allows them to maintain good water levels. They are found in many parts of the Earth and have four seasons throughout the year. In autumn, the leaves of the trees take on a different hue due to the cessation of chlorophyll production .

The deciduous forest has a fairly fertile type of soil that also contains a large amount of nutrients . The leaves of their trees are quite wide and have sap which they use to prevent the roots from freezing in winters. They are generally found between 35 ° and 60 ° latitude, and can be found in Europe , Asia, and much of the United States and Canada . Many of these forests have been lost over time due to large urbanization and agriculture .

Deciduous forest types

Depending on the geographical place where the deciduous forests are located, three types of them can be divided or recognized:

Temperate deciduous forest

This type of forest has an important stand of trees, mainly angiosperms . As it is not completely closed in its upper part, it can develop bushes and herbs. The plant species that make it up lose their leaves in the fall to later regain them in the spring.

Deciduous coniferous forest

It is part of the Taiga and has one or two different layers of trees. Some mosses and shrubs can be found and it has little solar radiation during winter. The low temperatures that occur in the place cause the waters to freeze and this makes the environmental conditions extreme.

Deciduous or tropical deciduous forest

It has a somewhat more complete type of structure as it does not have epiphytism or climbing . Its trees are at most 15 meters high and there is a very well defined dry season in the place which will also depend on the geographical position where it is located.

Fauna

The fauna found in this type of forest adapts to the type of temperature and climate of the place. In very cold places, its fauna develops the ability to hibernate and migrate . It is common to find amphibians such as frogs and salamanders, birds such as geese, hawks and woodpeckers, reptiles, cats , porcupines, raccoons and cattle.

Flora

In the deciduous forest it is common to find trees such as oak, birch, chestnut, poplar and maple. The type of tree that predominates in the place is deciduous, which can vary considerably in terms of size, shape and height. These trees can be found most often in places near clearings . Herbaceous flowering plants also abound on the site, which show their splendor mainly during spring . The leaves of the trees are flattened and wide and ferns, mosses and lichens can also be found.

Weather

The type of climate that predominates in deciduous forests is humid continental and maritime , mainly in those located in Western Europe. The climate has four different well-defined seasons, each with its corresponding characteristics.

Temperature

The temperature that is experienced in the deciduous forest is warm during the summers and in the winters it changes completely to a very cold climate. It can reach temperatures that go up to -5 ° C and 5 ° C. 

Precipitation

The most important precipitations occur mainly during the summer and are of utmost importance for the survival of the flora of the place. The rains can reach between 750 and 1500 millimeters annually and are also common during other seasons of the year.

Location

They are located mainly in Western , Central and Eastern Europe , in the Asian Continent in its western part, on the coasts located to the east of the United States , in some parts to the south of Chile and in the southeastern part of Australia , so it is common to observe them in both hemispheres of the Earth.

Economic activity

There is a great economic activity in them mainly due to the great fertility of their soils and the wood that can be purchased in the area. These types of activities have caused these forests to be reduced considerably, damaging both the flora and the fauna that inhabit the place. In them fields of crops and even industries and cities have been built for the development of the economy. Different types of plants are also often extracted from them for medicinal use. One of the problems faced by this type of forest is the excess of human hand that deteriorates its soils and that at the same time destroys the flora and fauna of the place.

Deciduous forest importance

This type of forest is extremely important for agricultural activity because its lands are very fertile thanks to the decomposition of the leaves of the place. It is a special place for the development of agricultural areas as the presence of trees and shrubs makes the rain more easily attracted. The earth is also very rich in humus and this makes ecosystems able to maintain and develop more easily. It also helps to maintain adequate levels in aquatic ecosystems and provides a series of supplies to fresh water considered potable, as they have the great capacity to purify and filter water.

Deciduous forests can help keep soils in good condition while avoiding erosion , reducing the amount of sediment that can be accommodated in different deposits, and reducing the possibility of landslides or floods .

Examples

Some examples of deciduous forests are as follows:

  • Deciduous forest of the Catamount Mountains in the United States.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Oak forest in Europe.

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