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Climax: the top or final state of something, like an ecosystem.
Pioneer: the first to move into an area. In plants, pioneers are usually very fast growing and can't survive in shade.
Tolerate: to allow or endure something or someone that is unfavorable. In medical terms, it is a person's ability to take a drug or treatment without serious side effects or discomfort.
It’s all about the trees. Trees are the most important members of the temperate forest community. They provide the structure and create the environment for everything beneath them. The forest can be thought of in “layers” with the treetops being the top layer, called the canopy. Small plants grow in the understory, on the bottom right above the forest floor.
There can also be subcanopy or intermediate layers, where young trees grow; these will be giants some day when they reach the canopy. The shade that the canopy makes can make it hard for some plants to survive in the forest, because they can’t get enough light to grow. While a tree may produce thousands of seeds in a given year to blanket the forest floor with seedlings, less than one out of every 100 of these seedlings will survive. It’s a harsh life for a little seedling.
Fall brings beautiful colors of all different shades to the deciduous forests. Some maples turn orange, oak leaves show dark reds, and hickories become bright yellow. These colors are clues that the trees are shutting down for the winter.
Images via Wikimedia Commons. Seedlings image by FLamiot.
Dr. Biology. (2014, July 21). Anatomy of the Temperate Forest. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved April 21, 2018 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/anatomy-temperate-forest
Dr. Biology. "Anatomy of the Temperate Forest". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 21 July, 2014. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/anatomy-temperate-forest
Dr. Biology. "Anatomy of the Temperate Forest". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 21 Jul 2014. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 21 Apr 2018. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/anatomy-temperate-forest
In temperate forests, young tree seedlings often blanket the forest floor.