Not all rainforest are lush green jungles full of exotic animals like brightly colored birds. Temperate rainforest are quite different from tropical
rainforest. This site list numerous temperate rainforest facts including information about where they are located, what animals and birds live in these
forests, and the trees and other plants that grow there. We also describe some of the major differences between tropical rainforests and temperate
Basic Temperate Rainforest Facts
These forests can be found in temperate regions (Oceanic - Moist Climates) of North America, South America, Europe, East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Generally these forests exist where the climate is affected by warm ocean currents.
Temperate rainforests receive from sixty to two hundred inches (1,500 to 5,000 millimeters) of rain annually. This is significantly less than tropical
Whereas tropical rainforests do not have a major change in seasons, temperate rainforests have a major change. They have a dry season and a long wet season. The temperature is almost always cool, but in the summer it can get quite hot and in the winter quite cold (near freezing).
The largest temperate rainforests in the world are located in North America. They run along the pacific coastline from North California through Canada and up into Alaska. In fact the Pacific Northwest is home to two thirds of all the temperate rainforests in the world.
Due to the abundant rainfall plants thrive in this biome; including trees which grow extremely high.
Facts about Temperate Rainforest Layers
Temperate rainforest are divided into three layers; the canopy, understory, and forest floor. Tropical rainforest have an additional layer, the Emergent
layer which is the highest layer.
Rainforest Canopy Layer Facts
The highest layer is the Canopy. This layer is characterized by huge trees growing hundreds of feet
high. Redwood trees growing in the temperate rainforests located in California can grow to heights exceeding three hundred
feet. That is higher than a twenty nine story building. Other tall trees include the Douglas Fir and the Sitka Spruce. The tremendous amounts of rain and
mild weather fosters this type of growth.
Rainforest Understory Layer Facts
This layer lies beneath the canopy. It is shaded by the huge trees towering over the forest. Plants that grow here must be able to survive with little
sunlight. This layer is characterized by plants such as small trees, ferns and berry shrubs.
Rainforest Floor Layer Facts
The forest floor is the lowest layer of the temperate rainforest. It is characterized by mosses, algae, mushrooms, and small plants. There are fallen dead
trees, tree needles, broken branches, and leaves covering the ground. As the fallen trees, leaves, and branches decay they provide rich nutrients for the
soil promoting new plant growth. Very little sunlight breaks through the upper layers of the forest. This layer is always damp and shady.
The temperate rainforest floor is the layer where most temperate forests animals live; unlike tropical rainforest where most animals live in the canopy. Here these animals have some protection from the rain and can find food. Animals such as black bear, deer, chipmunk, vole, and cougars can be found on the forest