Biome (Deciduous Forest)

Graduation Requirements
Science Biological Earth and Space
Equipment/Materials Needed
No special equipment or materials are required
A deciduous forest is a biome dominated by deciduous trees which lose their leaves seasonally.

Badge Completion Requirements

Introduction to Deciduous Forest

The word "Deciduous" means "falling off or out at a certain season". That explains why deciduous forest means a forest in which the leaves fall off the trees when the winter comes.

The deciduous forests are located in the temperate zone above the tropical forests and below the coniferous forests. Most of Europe, the eastern half of North America, parts of Japan and Asia were once covered with large deciduous forests. 

Temperature-30°C to 30°C, the yearly average is 10°C, hot summers, cold winters

Precipitation750 to 1,500 mm of rain per year

VegetationBroadleaf trees (oaks, maples, beeches), shrubs, perennial herbs, and mosses

LocationEastern United States, Canada, Europe, China, and Japan

OtherTemperate deciduous forests are most notable because they go through four seasons. Leaves change color in autumn, fall off in the winter, and grow back in the spring; this adaptation allows plants to survive cold winters.

The types of trees you can find in these forests are commonly known as ash, oak, lime, beech, birch and northern arrow-wood. 

Also found in this biome are wildflowers such as oxlip, bluebells, painted trillium and primrose. As well as things such as carpet moss, tawny milk-cap mushrooms, and lady fern. 

The deciduous forest has four distinct seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter. In the autumn the leaves change color. During the winter months, the trees lose their leaves. 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.

 A lot of deciduous forests have lost land to farms and towns. Although people are trying to preserve these forests, some poaches still intrude upon these protected land to illegally hunt and kill. The balance of the ecosystem in these forests is losing mainly due to human’s habitat fragmentation, using the lands for home estates or agriculture


Please review the following material:

The Great Smokey Mountains are prime examples of a deciduous forest. Please review the following video of the Great Smokey Mountains 

The Great Smokey Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountains

Please review the following material about the Appalachian Mountains



Compare and contrast the Biomes of the Eastern Appalachian Mountains and the Western Rocky Mountains.

Explain the terms "hardwood" and "softwood" trees

Discuss why there is more biodiversity in a deciduous forest than in a boreal forest.

Where would a world explorer expect to find deciduous forest?

Please develop and submit a presentation demonstrating your understanding of the deciduous forest biome. Please include the above "Prompts" in your presentation

Plants of the Deciduous Forest

A 360 degree look at a typical deciduous forest

Plants of the deciduous forest have methods or adaptations of dealing with the four season climate. In the spring, deciduous trees begin producing thin, broad, light-weight leaves. This type of leaf structure easily captures the sunlight needed for food production (photosynthesis). The broad leaves are great when temperatures are warm and there is plenty of sunlight. 

However, with fall and winter, when temperatures are cold, the broad leaves expose too much surface area to water loss and tissue damage. To help prevent this damage from occurring, deciduous trees make internal and physical adaptations that trigger changes that result in the leaves changing color and being shed from the tree.

The tree will respond to the coming freezing temperatures by sealing off the water from the leaves which results in the leaves not being able to continue with photosynthesis.  The chlorophyll will eventually fail, leaving the colors of fall. 

The trees create the top canopy, but the trees fail to create a complete canopy, allowing sunlight to lower levels. Also, deciduous trees are required to develop new leaves yearly, allowing time for other plants to develop in the understory.  

Throughout different times of the year in the deciduous forest, you'll find shrubs and vines with berries, and wildflowers.

Please review the following:


Discuss the five individual layers of the deciduous forest

Identify 5 species of trees that you would expect to find in a deciduous forest in the US

Identify 5 species of shrubs that you would expect to find in a deciduous forest in the US

Identify 5 species of flowering plants that you would expect to find in a deciduous forest in the US

Explain how the deciduous forest deals with the adverse weather of winter

Please develop and submit a presentation demonstrating your understanding of the deciduous forest biome. Please include the above "prompts" in your presentation

Animals of the Deciduous Forest

The number of species compared to the total number of organisms in an ecosystem is known as its biodiversity. Fortunately, most temperate deciduous forests have a very high biodiversity index. This is because the biome houses a very high density of plant life.

The deciduous forest is home to numerous animal species. Examples of deciduous forest dwellers would include spiders, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Animals that call the deciduous forest home will be discussed in detail in Zoology---Vertebrates section of Bulbapp

Please review the material below: