A Food Pyramid in the Temperate Rain Forest Biome

      The Temperate Rain Forest is a richly productive biome. Mild temperatures and abundant rainfall encourage plant growth, and the forest is covered with plant life at every level. Because chemical reactions occur more slowly at lower temperatures, the minerals in dead plant material are recovered more slowly than in the tropical rain forest. The forest floor is carpeted with fallen needles, and fungi grow on fallen logs.

     The primary producers consist of coniferous trees, tall douglas firs, spruce, and cedars, smaller trees and deciduous shrubs, mosses, ferns, grasses, and wild flowers. The tallest trees form a canopy that shades the lower-growing dogwoods and vine maples. The branches of the trees are covered with moss, and small, tender, shade-loving plants cover the ground below.

     Although there is a lot of plant material here, much of it is not readily digestible. Twigs and pine needles challenge mammals and birds, but insects and fungi can break these materials down. Animals can eat the insects and seeds, and the softer leaves, berries, and fungi that grow on the forest floor.

     Primary Consumers include slugs, snails, centipedes, and many insects. Small mammals, such as squirrels, chipmunks, and wood mice, find plenty to at, as do seed-eating birds. Deer also roam in these forests.

     Secondary Consumers include insect-eating birds, frogs, and small hunters such as weasels and foxes. Some animals, such as racoons and bears, eat both meat and plants.

     Large predators, such as bears, cougars, and bobcats, form the tertiary consumers, and eat smaller animals.

     It is interesting to note that the Temperate Rain Forest, though productive, does not support the wide variety of life forms that is found in a Tropical Rain Forest. More demanding conditions, and the cold of winter, seem to allow for fewer niches for diverse life forms.

This diagram shows the number of Kilocalories which are available as food at each trophic level. Only a tenth of the kilocalories which animals eat are turned into meat (biomass) when the animals are eaten by their predators,

Energy Pyramid Temp Rain Forest

 Tropical Rain Forests

 Temperate Rain Forests

 Tropical Rain Forest Food Web

 Temperate Rain Forest Food Web

 Tropical Rain Forest Food Pyramid

 Temperate Rain Forest Food Pyramid
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