The Temperate Rainforest

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The Temperate Rainforest
Pacific Coastal Forest
Climate and Geography
• Temperate Rainforest is defined as a forest in the
mid-latitudes that receives more than 50-60 inches
of rainfall a year (rainfall in SE AK varies from
48-300 inches per year)
• Mild, wet winters and cool, foggy or cloudy
summers
• Winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing,
and summer temperatures seldom exceed 80°
• Can be found in the Pacific NW of North America,
New Zealand, Tasmania and Patagonia.
Temperate Rainforest Map
Climate and Geography
• The temperate rain forests of the Pacific
Northwest develop where moisture-rich air
from the Pacific Ocean rise and become
trapped by coastal mountain ranges
• The moisture then condenses and returns to
earth in the form of heavy rainfall and, at
higher elevations, snow.
The “Rainshadow Effect”
Visible rain shadow
effect on the Tibetan
Plateau
Geography
• The Temperate Rainforest of
N. America spans from
Northern California along the
coasts of Oregon, Washington
and British Columbia up to the
Southeast panhandle of Alaska
• This biome is one of the rarest
biomes as far as acreage goes,
making up only about 0.6% of
of Earth (mostly N. America)
Climate and Geography
• Basic characteristics/requirements for a
temperate rainforest:
– Proximity to coast
– Presence of coastal mountains
– Minimal seasonal temperature variations (cool
summers, mild winters)
– Lots of precipitation (hence the title
‘rainforest’)
Trees of the Temperate
Rainforest
• Although climate of the Pacific Northwest
varies considerably from Alaska to
California, there are certain species of trees
that are present throughout, which
climatically unifies the region.
• These indicator
trees are Sitka Spruce
and Western Hemlock
Trees of the Temperate
Rainforest
• Because of ideal
growing conditions
(lots of moisture, lack
of temperature
extremes), trees in the
coastal rainforest grow
very large.
Trees of the Temperate
Rainforest
• Other indicators of the Temperate
Rainforest are:
– Nurse logs - usually fallen Sitka
Spruce upon which seedlings of
trees grow.
– Colonnades - trees standing in a row as a result
of getting their start on nurse logs.
– A profusion of lichens and mosses.
Trees of the Temperate
Rainforest
• Other common species of trees are:
–
–
–
–
–
–
Cedar
Cottonwood
Alder
Douglas Fir
Vine Maple
Bigleaf Maple
Southern end of the range
Animals of the Temperate
Rainforest
• While the trees and plants
that make up the
temperate rain forest are
important, the animals that
live there are equally vital.
• Mammals found in the
forest include the
Roosevelt elk, black-tailed
deer, cougar, black bear,
river otter, Douglas
squirrel, jumping mouse,
and shrews and flying
squirrrel 
Animals of the Temperate
Rainforest
• Birds such as the
western robin, winter
wren, pileated
woodpecker, varied
thrush, gray jay, junco,
and raven make their
homes in the thick
forest canopy.
More animals
• Some other common types of birds in the
Pacific Northwest are Clark’s nutcracker
and the blue grouse.
And some more animals…
• A trip to the Temperate Rainforest wouldn’t
be complete with out
encountering……..SLUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Temperate Rainforest Overview
•
•
•
•
•
Lots of precipitation
Cool summers, mild winters
Large trees—ideal growing condtions
High biodiversity
High biomass (higher than tropical
rainforest)
• One of the most unique (and therefore
rarest) biomes on our planet
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