What Is the Definition of a Temperate Deciduous Forest?

Temperate deciduous forests are forests that are dominated by trees that lose their leaves each year. These types of forest are found in areas with warm, moist summers and fairly mild winters.

The diversity of tree species in these forests is typically higher in regions where the winter is milder, as well as in mountainous regions that provide a variety of soil types. These forests have a distinct seasonal appearance, including the disappearance of the canopy; this shade limits the growth of many kinds of plants. Countless migratory birds time their arrival with the opening of the canopy. One of the world's best examples of this forest type is in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.