Climate In the middle latitudes, the prevailing winds carry moisture-laden air masses over the west coasts of the continents, which receive substantial rainfall in consequence. The region covered by temperate rain forest experiences mild, wet winters and cool, foggy or cloud-covered summers. The mild winters permit year- round growth of the conifers, while the mild summers reduce the possibility of drought. Rainfall 1500 – 3500 mm per year Temperature 0˚ – 25˚
Distribution These forests line the coast of North America from central California north to south-eastern Alaska. Despite its similar climate, the much-interrupted coast of north-western Europe lacks this type of evergreen forest, which was eliminated during the last period of glaciation. Small areas of temperate rainforest are found in North- eastern Asia. In the southern hemisphere, temperate rainforests of southern beeches, podocarps, and other species are well developed in central Chile and on Tasmania and the South Island of New Zealand.
Soil This forest has nutrient-rich soil because there is a lot of dead organic matter on the ground. This dead material is being slowly digested by the fungi, insects, and bacteria that live here.
Plants I Although temperate rain forest has layers of tall, medium, and low growing vegetation, the cool winters limit the numbers and kinds of life forms that live here. Compared to the tropical rain forest, the temperate rain forest has a less complex ecology. For example, the topmost layer of the temperate rain forest on the western edge of North America is dominated by four kinds of tall coniferous trees. The forest floor is covered by ferns, mosses, and small plants. Mosses and lichens grow on the tree trunks and rocks.
Plants II In the tropical forests the trees have to spend some of their energy drawing up water and getting rid of heat: in this milder climate the trees can grow and grow. Scientists say that there is more biomass in this biome than in any other biome on earth. There may be 500 tons of living things per acre here.
Animals Most of the animals in this forest live on or near the ground, where there is lots of food, and the trees provide shelter from sun, wind, and rain. Beetles burrow in the moss and hide in the bark of trees. Wood peckers and birds eat the insects. Grass is eaten by the voles (cute little mouse-like animals) and deer.
People The primary causes of forest loss and degradation vary from region to region. They include agricultural expansion, mining, settlement, shifting agriculture, plantation establishment and infrastructural development. While logging is one of the most important causes of forest loss and degradation, the way the logging industry operates also exaggerates the problem.