There are a number of factors determining the regeneration rate and success of deciduous forests. Some of these factors include the intensity of disturbance, the seed bank, and genetic degradation of forest sites. Passive regeneration may be possible in certain cases where disturbance has been minimal, but active restoration is necessary in areas where conditions prevent natural regeneration. In many cases, large areas of land that have undergone intensive farming or intensive logging will be unable to regenerate.
This type of forest supports many species of animals, such as warblers, and is home to a variety of mammals, including chipmunks and moles. Many animals living in the deciduous forest help spread plant seeds by feeding on bark, leaves, and berries. Their slow-heating metabolisms make them an excellent choice for photo backgrounds. But there are other factors besides the photo’s quality that can impact its use.
The climate of deciduous forests varies widely. The temperate type is characterized by cold winters and warm, wet summers. The deciduous forest’s average temperature varies mainly by elevation, and the yearly precipitation is typically between 750 and 1,500 mm. As the climate changes, the leaves senesce and die, causing an ecosystem to change dramatically. This process is known as depletion.
Mid-latitude deciduous forests are characterized by a wide variety of trees. They form dense growths that admit little light through their canopy. There are also shrubs near clearings and forest edges. Herbaceous plants are abundant in deciduous forests. These plants rely on the rich mineral soil known as podzols. The forest floor is a shady, moist habitat for a number of species of bacteria and invertebrate animals.
The evolution of the deciduous hardwoods in the southern hemisphere may not have been favored by the climate of tropical rainforests, which is cloudy and pronouncedly temperate. The climate in the rainforest may not have favored southward migration, since the area was far smaller than that of the boreal zone. Instead, broadleafed evergreens evolved more successfully in these climates. These trees still occupy rainforest climates that are moist, but are restricted to the southernmost reaches of their range.