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Tropical Monsoon Forests – Temperate Rainforests

Distribution of Tropical Monsoon Forests

The monsoon climate beyond the equatorial region between 10◦ and 25 ◦ and North and South of the equator. The countries are along the coastal regions of southwest India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, South western Africa, French Guiana, and northeast and southeastern Brazil.

Salient Features of Tropical Monsoon Rainforests

The major controlling factor over the monsoon climate is its relationship to the monsoon circulation. The Monsoon is a seasonal change in wind direction.

The “classic” monsoon circulation of Asia exhibits an onshore flow of air (air moving from ocean towards land) during the summer or high-sun season, and offshore air flow (air moving from land toward water) during the winter or low-sun season. The change in direction is due to the difference in the way water and land heat.

The monsoon climate has a high mean annual temperature and a small annual temperature range like equatorial climate.

Temperate Rainforests

Distribution of Temperate Rainforests

Temperate forests cover a large part of the Earth, but temperate rainforests only occur in a few regions around the world. Most of these occur in oceanic moist climates: the Pacific temperate rain forests in Western North America (Southeastern Alaska to Central California), the Valdivian  and Magellanic temperate rainforests of southwestern South America (Southern Chile and adjacent Argentina), pockets of rain forest in Northwestern Europe (southern Norway to northern Iberia), temperate rainforests of southeastern Australia (Tasmania and Victoria) and the New Zealand temperate rainforests (South Island’s west coast).

Others occur in subtropical moist climates; South Africa’s Knysna-Amatole coastal forests, the Colchan rainforests of the eastern Black Sea region (Turkey and Georgia), the Caspian temperate rainforests of Iran and Azerbaijan, the mountain temperate rainforests along eastern Taiwan’s Pacific coast, the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula along the length of the Baekdu Mountain Range and in the area surrounding Mt. Jiri and across the peninsula’s southern coastline, southwest Japan’s Taiheiyo forests, coastal New South Wales and New Zealand’s North Island.

Temperate deciduous forests 

Temperate deciduous forests or temperate broad-leaf forests are dominated by trees that lose their leaves each year. They are found in areas with warm moist summers and mild winters.

The three major areas of this forest type occur in the Northern Hemisphere: eastern North America, East Asia, and Europe. Smaller areas occur in Australasia and southern South America. Examples of typical trees in the Northern Hemisphere’s deciduous forests include oak, maple, beech, and elm, while in the Southern Hemisphere, trees of the genus Nothofagus dominate this type of forest. The diversity of tree species is higher in regions where the winter is milder, and also in mountainous regions that provide an array of soil types and microclimates.

The largest intact, temperate deciduous forest in the world is protected inside of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park in Upstate New York.

The principal factor operating in these forests is the seasonal appearance and disappearance of the canopy. Shade from the canopy limits the growth of many kinds of plants. Many species that are typical of these forests time their growth and flowering to the short period just before the canopy opens; hence, they are known as spring ephemerals. Examples include trilliums and bloodroot. Most spring ephemerals are insect-pollinated, and the seeds themselves are often transported by ants, a mode of dispersal known as myrmecochory.

A smaller number of species is able to grow under the canopy, and even a few that grow during the period when leaves are being lost. The average yearly precipitation is 30 – 60 in (75 – 150 cm). Temperate deciduous forests have a great variety of plant species. Most have three levels of plants. Lichen, moss, ferns, wildflowers, and other small plants can be found on the forest floor. Shrubs fill in the middle level, and hardwood trees like maple, oak, birch, magnolia, sweet gum, and beech make up the third level. Birds such as broad-winged hawks, cardinals, snowy owls, and pileated woodpeckers are also found in this biome. Mammals include white-tailed deer, raccoons, opossums, porcupines, and red foxes. Animals that live in the temperate deciduous forest must be able to adapt to the changing seasons.

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