Boreal and Temperate Forests


The Earth's latitudinal gradient of forests encompasses boreal to temperate deciduous to temperate evergreen forests (as well as tropical forests). In addition, there are several variants of the temperate evergreen forest and there are montane forests at high elevations. Boreal and temperate forests differ in environment, structure, composition and disturbance.

Keywords: forests; boreal forest; temperate forests; biomes; vegetation

Figure 1.

Landscape view of boreal coniferous forest in central Finland.

Figure 2.

Interior view of temperate deciduous forest in southern Indiana, USA.

Figure 3.

Interior view of temperate evergreen forest (maritime needle‐leaved forest variant) in northern California, USA.

Figure 4.

Montane coniferous forest in eastern British Columbia, Canada.


Further Reading

Archibold OW (1995) Ecology of World Vegetation. London: Chapman & Hall.

Barbour MG and Billings WD (eds) (1999) North American Terrestrial Vegetation, 2nd edn. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Bolen EG (1998) Ecology of North America. New York, NY: Wiley.

Chabot BF and Mooney HA (eds) (1985) Physiological Ecology of North American Plant Communities. New York, NY: Chapman and Hall.

Grabherr G (1997) Farbatlas Ökosysteme der Erde. Stuttgart: Eugen Ulmer. (French edition published in 1999.)

Ovington JD (ed.) (1983) Temperate Broad‐Leaved Evergreen Forests. Ecosystems of the World 10. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Polunin O and Walters M (1985) A Guide to the Vegetation of Britain and Europe. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Röhig E and Ulrich B (eds) (1991) Temperate Deciduous Forests. Ecosystems of the World 7. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Vankat JL (1979) The Natural Vegetation of North America: an Introduction. New York, NY: John Wiley.

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How to Cite close
Vankat, John L(Mar 2002) Boreal and Temperate Forests. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003738]