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Deciduous Forest

Life Science - Middle School

 
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Sheri Amsel Deciduous forests are found in Earth’s temperate zones, which are cooler than rainforests, but milder than conifer forest zones. They have fertile soils with 30-60” (75-150cm) of rain a year and four distinct seasons. After a summer in full leaf, with the days growing shorter and temperatures cooling in the fall, the leaves will change color and drop off. During the cold winter months, the trees lie dormant. In spring, as the days lengthen, the temperatures rise and the leaves sprout. This restarts the trees’ six month growth period. Deciduous forests are broken down into five layers (or stratum). The TREE LAYER has tall trees from 60-100 feet tall (18-30m), like oak (1), maple (2), hickory, beech (3), birch (4) and elm. The SAPLING LAYER has small trees shadbush (5) and dogwoods. The SHRUB LAYER has bushes, like blueberries (6) and rhododendron. The HERB LAYER has wildflowers and ferns (7), and the GROUND LAYER has mosses and clubmosses. Deciduous forests are home to many animals including mammals like white-tailed deer (8), red squirrels (9), raccoons, weasels (10), rabbits and voles (11). In the summer, songbirds like the golden-crowned kinglet (12) migrate north to deciduous forests to nest, while many birds like barred owls (13), pileated woodpeckers (14), grouse and turkeys survive up north all winter. In the warm summer months, insects hatch out to feed, mate and lay eggs. This includes butterflies, luna moths (15), ground beetles (16), mosquitoes and wood boring beetles (17). Garter snakes (18) (reptiles) and amphibians, like toads, newts (19) and wood frogs (20), are active after a long winter of hibernation. SAPLING LAYER TREE LAYER SHRUB LAYER HERB LAYER GROUND LAYER 4 1 2 3 5 8 17 6 11 14 7 10 15 13 18 19 9 12 16 20 Deciduous Forest
94-4018 Sheri Amsel SAPLING LAYER TREE LAYER SHRUB LAYER HERB LAYER GROUND LAYER 4 1 3 5 8 17 6 11 14 7 10 15 13 18 19 9 12 16 20 Deciduous forests are home to many animals including mammals like the white-tailed ___________________ (8), ___________ __________________________ (9), raccoon, __________________________ (10), rabbit and __________________________ (11). In the summer, birds like the golden-crowned kinglet (12) migrate north to deciduous forests to nest, while many birds like barred _________________ (13), pileated ____________________________ (14), grouse and turkeys survive up north all winter. In the warm summer months, insects hatch out to feed, mate and lay eggs. This includes butterflies, luna __________________________ (15), ground __________________________ (16), mosquitoes and wood boring beetles (17). Garter __________________________ (18) (reptiles) and amphibians, like toads, __________________________ (19), and wood frogs (20), are active after a long winter of hibernation. Deciduous Forest 2
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