The forest climate differs from region to region. Today we speak about deciduous forests. These forests can be observed all over the world: in the eastern half of North America, and the middle of Europe, in Asia, in the south-western Russia, Japan, and eastern China. South America also has two big areas of deciduous forests in southern Chile and Middle East coast of Paraguay.
Deciduous forests are also located in New Zealand and south-eastern Australia. Let's find out what is a deciduous forest? The scientific definition is "Deciduous forests composed primarily of broad-leaved trees that shed all their leaves during one season. Such forests have a temperate climate characterized by a winter season and year-round precipitation".
Deciduous forests are classified as C climate category forests according to the international climate classification. The latitude range is from 23 ° north to 38 ° south.
The most interesting thing about any given forest climate is that this unique environment has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Deciduous forests summer is mild averaging about 39°C. Summer months are from early June to late August. In autumn (September - November), the leaves change color and fall from the trees. Winter in deciduous forests begins with December and lasts to late February.
Winter temperatures are rather cold with an average temperature of a little below freezing. In spring (March - May), there is the process of nature revival. This biome is located between the Polar Regions and the tropics, so large air masses from cold and warm areas affect the forest climate. There are two more factors that have an essential influence on temperature and climate changes in this biome - the ocean and the wind.
Deciduous forest climate is a mix of temperature and precipitation. There is about 90-120 centimeters of rain falling evenly through the year: almost 45 centimeters of rain are in the winter months and more than 60 centimeters of rain are in the summer (the indicators can differ). The soils are fertile with lots of leaf litter, and it's dominated by broadleaf deciduous hardwood trees.
Deciduous forests as a rule have five levels of plants (five zones):
- Top layer (Tree Stratum zone): tall deciduous trees such as oak, beech, maple, chestnut hickory, elm, basswood, linden, walnut, and sweet gum trees. Although the top layer is quite thick, it does allow sunlight to reach the forest floor, which let the other layers to grow.
- The 2nd layer (Saplings zone): This zone has young and short trees.
- The 3rd layer (Shrub zone): Some of the shrubs in this zone are rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurel, and huckleberries.
- The 4th layer (Herb zone): forest herbs, such as wildflowers and berries. In spring, before the leaves develop on the deciduous trees, these herbs bloom and grow quickly while they are getting a lot of sunlight.
- The 5th layer (Ground zone): It contains lichen, club mosses, and true mosses.
Forest climate of the given region makes the animals for adaptation by hibernating in the winter and living off the land in the other three seasons. The plants have adapted to the forests by leaning toward the sun. Soaking up the nutrients in the ground is also a way of adaptation.
Hopefully this article has shed some light on the deciduous forest climate, and has answered some questions about the forest climate in general.