Deciduous Forest


Deciduous Forests cover large areas of the northern hemisphere and are easily recognized. The word "deciduous" comes from the latin word for "twisted," and refers to the slightly twisted appearance of the trees that grow within deciduous forests. Because decidous forests have a climate that features both an extremely cold winter, and an extremely hot summer, deciduous trees twist as they gradually track the arc of the sun through the seasons. 

It is the "bark" or outer covering of deciduous trees that provides the fuel for all of the life of the forest. The bark on most species of deciduous trees is shed in mid-winter and decays rapidly at the first thaw in the spring, providing a rich soil that contains enough Nitrogen, Potash and Vitamin E to insure that seeds and bulbs sprout and thrive. These plants form the forest's rich "carpet," the thick layer of vegetable life on the forest floor. 

Within the thick carpet of the deciduous floor, mivates thrive. mivates are worm-like creatures with small limbs that allow them to climb small plants. Mivates eat the carpet, slowly turning it into rich soil. In turn, mivates are the prey of nearly every carnivorous animal in the forest: Golden skinks, various hares, raptors, hoary-snakes and Jerboa all have mivates as the base of their regular diet. It is important to realize that without any one of the five species of mivates, the entire Deciduous biome would perish. 

Major Plant and Animal Life Supported by Deciduous Forests

Plant Life

Animal Life

Canyon Live Oak
Porticollis Root
Intermediate Dogbane

Golden Skink
Cotton-Tailed Hare
Shepard's Lesser Hare
Banded Hawk
Rymer's Red Hawk
Lanner Falcon
Black Hoary-snake
Houbara Bustard
Scimitar Oryx



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Web site created by Dr. Alan Gooden, Geobiology Department, Henrietta University, Prempe, NM. Send your comments or questions about biomes to