Abstract for S15


Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Forêts et terres boisées des zones tempérée et boréale


Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland is typically dominated by broad-leaved deciduous and needle-leaved trees, with some broad-leaved evergreens in warmer regions. It is found across the globe typically between 25 and 60-70 degrees N and S latitude, but is far more abundant in the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere. The climate varies from warm temperate with only rare frosts and snow to cold subarctic conditions. The gradation from warm temperate (including Mediterranean) to boreal vegetation is often subtle and occurs across broad regions, so they are treated together as one subclass.

Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland includes temperate rainforest, temperate deciduous forest and woodland, and temperate evergreen forest and woodland. These forests are dominated by broad-leaved or needle-leaved growth forms. Trees typically range in height from 10 to 30 m, but rainforest trees may attain great height, exceeding 50 m. Temperate broad-leaved deciduous and needle-leaved forests grow in cool temperate climates, with summer rainfall and cold winters (during which the broad leaved trees lose their leaves), extending to the treeline of temperate regions, where they resemble boreal forests. Temperate broad-leaved evergreen forests, often mixed with broad-leaved deciduous and needle-leaved trees, occur in warm-temperate climates, with either mild winters and moist, warm summers, or winter-rain winters and dry, warm summers (Mediterranean).

Boreal Forest & Woodland contains primarily needle-leaved evergreen trees, with or without boreal broad-leaved deciduous trees. Structure varies from tall, closed-canopy (but rarely exceeding 15 m) to open, low (<5 m) subarctic and boreal subalpine woodlands at treeline. Nonvascular mosses and lichens may predominate in the ground layer. Winters are very cold and vary from arid to moist. Temperate high montane forest may resemble boreal forest. Tree species diversity is very low.

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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