FOREST Ecosystems Description Forests represent a third of the earth's land, and are found in the four corners of the globe. The major attribute of the forest biome is its trees. While they are different from animals in many ways, they share one common characteristic: they breathe. While humans and animals breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Forests have well-defined seasons with a distinct winter PLANTS In a temperate forest, most of the trees lose their leaves in the winter. During the fall, when the weather gets cooler, the trees begin to shut down. Their leaves turn beautiful shades of colors. Because light can get to the floor of the forest, it is also covered with smaller plants PLANT Adaptations Wildflowers grow on forest floor early in the spring before trees leaf-out and shade the forest floor Most deciduous trees have thin, broad, light-weight leaves that can capture a lot of sunlight to make a lot of food for the tree in warm weather; when the weather gets cooler, the broad leaves cause too much water loss and can be weighed down by too much snow, so the tree drops its leaves. New ones will grow in the spring. Some forests called taiga have mostly pine type trees. Theses trees have thin spiny leaves all year long to reduce water loss. This is why they are called evergreens. Common animal Adaptations The animals have developed different ways of surviving in this biome. Many of them migrate to warmer places to escape the cold winter months, while others hibernate (sleep) through the winter when food is scarce. Some animals such as squirrels, chipmunks and jays store food when it is plentiful, using hollows of trees as storehouses for nuts and seeds. In winter this store of food keeps them fed. Forest Food web example Herbivores include: Mammals that can be found include squirrels, wood mice, deer, elk, and bison. Birds such as doves, turkeys, and pheasants. Carnivores include: Mammals such as coyotes, wolves, and mountain lions. Birds such as owls and eagles. Omnivores include: Skunks, bears, and racoons.