The deciduous forest can be found all over the globe. It is found primarily in eastern North America, middle Europe, southwest Russia, Japan, and China but smaller scale deciduous forests can also be found in southeastern Australia, southern South America, and New Zealand. We will be discussing North American deciduous forests found in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania.
The deciduous forest plays an important and diverse role in the United States. The deciduous forest is found in the eastern part of the United States, and is estimated to cover approximately 302 million hectares, which is approximately 33% of the land area of the United States. We harvest many of our renewable resources from these forests such as lumber,
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Common tree species found in the deciduous forests include a variety of oaks, hickories, maples, beeches, as well as conifers such as pines and hemlocks. Animal species have adapted to the winter season primarily by migration and hibernation. Most bird species will migrate south seeking warmer temperatures throughout the winter, while some mammals such as bears will hibernate to survive the shortage of food supply brought on by the cold winter season. Among the common animal species found are white-tailed deer, red foxes, rabbits, garter snakes, skunks, turtles, frogs, beavers, gray squirrels, raccoons, bears, opossums, and chipmunks. Common bird species include robins, hawks, turkeys, chickadees, woodpeckers, cardinals, and blue jays. The structure of the deciduous forest is categorized into three levels, beginning at the ground level, or herbaceous level. Plants with an absence of woody tissue is characteristic of this level. Throughout this level, you will find leaf litter along with many small herbaceous plants such as flowers, grasses, ferns, as well as a variety of lichens, mosses, fungi, which can grow on the ground, rocks, or the trunks of dead or living trees. The next level up is the shrub/small tree level. In this level you will find many shrubs, bushes, small trees, saplings, and young specimens of the full grown tree species found in