Temperate coniferous forest

A pine forest is an example of a temperate coniferous forest
Map of temperate coniferous forest ecoregions of the world.

Temperate coniferous forest is a terrestrial biome found in temperate regions of the world with warm summers and cool winters and adequate rainfall to sustain a forest. In most temperate coniferous forests, evergreen conifers predominate, while some are a mix of conifers and broadleaf evergreen trees and/or broadleaf deciduous trees. Temperate evergreen forests are common in the coastal areas of regions that have mild winters and heavy rainfall, or inland in drier climates or mountain areas. Temperate coniferous forests are only found in the Northern Hemisphere in North America, Europe, and Asia. A separate ecoregion, the tropical coniferous forests, occurs in more tropical climates.

Structurally, these forests are rather simple, generally consisting of two layers: an overstory and understory. Some forests may support an intermediate layer of shrubs. Pine forests support a herbaceous understory that is generally dominated by grasses and herbaceous perennials, and are often subject to ecologically important wildfires. Many species of tree inhabit these forests including cedar, cypress, Douglas fir, fir, juniper, pine, podocarpus, spruce, redwood and yew. The understory also contains a wide variety of herbaceous and shrub species.

Species

The temperate coniferous forests around the world sustain the highest levels of biomass in any terrestrial ecosystem and are notable for trees of massive proportions, including Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), Alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides) and kauri (Agathis australis). These forests are quite rare, occurring in small areas of North America, southwestern South America and northern New Zealand. The Klamath-Siskiyou forests of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon is known for its rich variety of plant and animal species, including many endemic species. [1]