Land Biomes: Temperate Forests

Temperate Deciduous Forest
Temperate Deciduous Forest in Autumn. De Agostini/C. Sappa/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

Biomes are the world's major habitats. These habitats are identified by the vegetation and animals that populate them. The location of each biome is determined by the regional climate.

Temperate Forests

Temperate forests are areas with high levels of precipitation, humidity and contain a variety of deciduous trees. Deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter.


Temperate forests have a wide range of temperatures that correlate with the distinctive seasons.

Temperatures range from hot in the summer with highs of 86 degrees Fahrenheit, to extremely cold in the winter with lows of - 22 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperate forests receive abundant amounts of precipitation, usually between 20-60 inches of precipitation annually. This precipitation is in the form of rain and snow.


Some locations of temperate forests include:

  • Eastern Asia
  • Central and Western Europe
  • Eastern United States


Due to abundant rainfall and thick soil humus, temperate forests are able to support a wide variety of plant life and vegetation. This vegetation exists in several layers ranging from lichens and mosses on the ground layer to large tree species like oak and hickory that stretch high above the forest floor. Other examples of temperate forest vegetation include:

  • Forest Canopy Tier: Maple trees, Walnut trees, Birch trees
  • Small Tree Tier: Dogwoods, Redbuds, Shadbush
  • Shrub Tier: Azaleas, Mountain Laurel, Huckleberries
  • Herb Tier: Blue Bead Lily, Indian Cucumber, Wild Sarsaparilla
  • Floor Tier: Lichens and Mosses


Temperate forests are home to a wide variety of animals. These animals include various insects and spiders, wolves, foxes, bears, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, eagles, rabbits, deer, skunks, squirrels, raccoons, squirrels, moose, snakes, and hummingbirds.

Temperate forest animals have many different ways to deal with the cold and lack of food in winter. Some animals hibernate during the winter and arise in spring when food is more plentiful. Other animals store food and burrow underground to escape the cold. Many animals escape the harsh conditions by migrating to warmer regions in winter.

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Bailey, Regina. "Land Biomes: Temperate Forests." ThoughtCo, Feb. 8, 2017, Bailey, Regina. (2017, February 8). Land Biomes: Temperate Forests. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "Land Biomes: Temperate Forests." ThoughtCo. (accessed February 18, 2018).