Abstract for F008


Cool Temperate Forest & Woodland
Forêts et terres boisées de la zone tempérée froide


Cool Temperate Forest & Woodland includes temperate deciduous forest and woodland, temperate needle-leaved forest and woodland, and temperate rainforest. These forests are dominated by broad-leaved or needle-leaved tree growth forms. Rainforest trees may attain great heights; trees easily exceed 50 m, but these forests more typically range from 10 to 30 m in height. They are found in oceanic temperate to cool temperate continental climates, with summer rainfall and cold winters (during which the broad-leaved trees lose their leaves), extending to treeline, where they resemble boreal forests.

The formation is most prominent in the Northern Hemisphere, where it occurs in four major, formation expressions in (1) western and central Europe, (2) eastern Asia, including Korea and Japan, (3) eastern North America, and (4) western North America. It occurs as small formation expressions in the Southern Hemisphere, including southern South America (Chile and Argentina), southern Australia, and New Zealand. This formation is associated with cooler continental and oceanic temperate climates (Koeppen Dca, Dcb, and Do, and in Europe, Cfb). There is an approximately 6-month growing season. The 50 to 150 cm (20-60 inches) of precipitation is distributed evenly throughout the year. The non-growing season is due to temperature-induced drought during the cold winters.

Forest structure is usually complex in moist climates and habitats, commonly consisting of five strata: (1) a tree stratum, 15-35 m (60-100 feet) tall, dominated by broad-leaved deciduous and/or needle-leaved evergreen species, often with a substratum of small trees (5-15 m tall); (2) a small tree and tall sapling layer (between 2-5 m); (3) a short shrub layer (<2 m); (4) an herb layer of perennial forbs, including an ecological group with species that bloom primarily in early spring (in deciduous broadleaf-dominated examples); and (5) a ground layer of lichens, clubmosses, and true mosses. Lichens and mosses also grow on the trunks of trees. In dry, and fire-dependent climates and regions, the structure may be simple, with a tree layer (>10%) and a strong grassy or shrubby ground layer. Natural disturbances include wind and fire.

Source: Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, E. Helmer. 2014. Classification and description of world formation types. Part I (Introduction) and Part II (Description of world formations). Hierarchy Revisions Working Group, Federal Geographic Data Committee, FGDC Secretariat, U.S. Geological Survey. Reston, VA, and NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

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