Temperate Deciduous Forest Eastern United States

Climate of the Temperate Deciduous Forest in the Eastern US

  • Average Rainfall: 30-60 in
  • this precipitation falls throughout the year but in the winter falls as snow
  • Average Temperature: 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius)

Net Primary Productivity

The temperate deciduous forests are located in the mid latitude regions and have great diversity. They are so highly diverse due to the fact that they have 4 seasons, fall, winter, summer and spring. Anything that lives there must be able to adapt to the seasons. The temperate deciduous forests growing season is more than 120 days, making it very fertile. The net primary productivity is very high which shows how the area is producing a great amount of useful chemical energy.

Soil Quality

  • as the leaves decompose the nutrients contained in the leaves are absorbed by the soil causing the soil to be very fertile
  • because of the soil and a long, 5-6 month growing season many temperate deciduous forests have been converted into agricultural regions

Invasive and Endangered Species

Invasive Asian Gypsy Moth

Purpose or Accident? These moths originally evolved in Europe and Asia and have existed there for thousands of years. In the 1860's the moth was introduced near Boston, MA by E. Leopold Trouvelot. This gypsy moth is one of North America's most devastating forest pests.

Endangered Red Wolf

Distinguished by their reddish fur, red wolves are threatened mainly by human activity (P in HIPPCO) and interbreeding with coyotes. A main problem problem in the temperate deciduous forests is the removal of trees by certain people(H in HIPPCO). Today 50 red wolves roam their native habitats in eastern North Carolina and nearly 200 are maintained in captive breeding facilities through the US.

Animals in the Temperate Deciduous Forest

Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker lives in trees, has nests in trees or dead trees, and finds its food on trees. The temperate deciduous forest becomes a great place for the woodpeckers to survive with their strong, chisel-like beaks that make it easy to drill holes in the wood.

White Tailed Deer

The White Tailed Deer thrive in the temperate deciduous forest because they have adapted to the transitional humid summers to the cold winters. Along with this, they are grazers and the vegetation in these forests offer plenty of options to satisfy hunger.

Broad Winged Hawk

The Broad Winged Hawk is a bird of the forest. These hawks nest and breed in the temperate deciduous forest making them a perfect fit for this biome.

Plants in the Temperate Deciduous Forest

Maple Tree

The Maple Tree is one of the many trees that thrives in the temperate deciduous forest. Its extremely efficient rooting system helps it to obtain nutrients and water.


In the temperate deciduous forest the moss covers the ground. It is common along stream beds or tree trunks but can grow many places because it is a rootless organism.

Beech Tree

Beech trees have thick bark to protect them during the cold winters of the temperate deciduous forest. Beech trees also have broad leaves to capture sunlight which helps them live.

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