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Hip Habitats: Temperate Deciduous Forest

The Temperate Deciduous Forest is a ecosystem that is always changing! It has four distinct Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Temperate forests are located in Eastern United States, China, Japan, Canada, and Europe. One-third of North America is covered with these four-season forests.

They are located in the mid-latitude areas of the globe; found between the polar regions and the tropics. Where the average temperature is 50°F (10°C). Summers are mild, and average about 70°F (21°C), while winter temperatures are often well below freezing. Precipitation of rain and snow ranges between is 30 to 60 in per year. 

Animals in temperate deciduous forests have to adapt to changing seasons. They must be able to cope with cold winters and hot summers. Some animals hibernate, some migrate during the winter to escape the cold, and some have physical adaptations such as growing a thicker coat to keep warm. 

Temperate deciduous forests are home to trees such as Oak, Birch, Beech, Aspen, Elm, and Maple. Also known as "Broadleaf Forest" because the wide, flat tree leaves. 

As winter approaches and daylight decreases, the production of chlorophyll in the leaves slows and eventually stops, revealing the bright red, yellow and orange colors we associate with the colors of fall.

At the forest floor, the leaves drop from trees and provide a steady source of organic material for the soil. Many species live in the soil and break down the organic matter. These are called decomposers. 

Mutual relationships among plants and animals in the temperate deciduous forest helped spread or disperse the seeds of plants. In return animals live on some of their own fruits, berries, barks, and leaves. Plants that have thorns or toxic chemicals keep animals from eating too much.

One species that thrives in the Temperate Deciduous Forest are Salamanders. With 30 species known the Great Smoky Mountains are known as the "Salamander Capital of the World."
Salamanders can lay up to 450 eggs at once.
Spotted salamander eggs sometimes contain green algae. The algae will consume the carbon
dioxide that salamander embryos produce and turn it into oxygen that the embryos can use. 

All photos in this Blog Entry are from a recent family trip from the South to the Northeast United States which is dominated by temperate forests. North America's Eastern Deciduous Forest ecosystem stretches over 26 states from Florida up to New England and southern Canada, and extends as far west as Texas and Minnesota.

Thank you for reading this Science Lesson Blog written by certified educator of Philanthrolab Science Shop Ms. Stacey The Science Lady. With over 12 years of teaching experience and creative Science curriculum development, her mission is to inspire children to have a love of Science. She is the owner of Philanthrolab Science Shop. An online shop of 50+ Fun & Affordable Science Toys - ALL $10 or LESS! Featuring The At Home Play Pak, Satchel of Science, and The DIY Sci Kit 

If you found this Lesson Blog to be a great resource, filled with fun ideas and educational content that your young scientist would enjoy, please remember to watch the Livestreams every Thursday and Friday on Facebook and Instagram 1:30 p.m. EST. The At Home Play Pak accompanies the concepts of the Livestreams.

Egg Layers are everywhere, even in the Artic! This last week of July Ms. Stacey will be sharing facts, crafts, and a read aloud all about the coldest ecosystem. Be sure to pick up the limited time collection Ovi-Party before the month hatches. 

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