You may live in the country, where trees are plentiful, or you may live in the city, where trees are scare. One way or another, you have probably seen or ventured into a forest. In the eastern United States, temperate deciduous forests are the predominate biome. As the name suggests, these forests consist of deciduous trees--like maples, oaks, elms, beeches, and birches--that lose their leaves every fall and regrow them every spring. However, they also contain many evergreen trees--like pines, firs, and hollies--that retain their leaves throughout the year, gradually losing and replacing a few leaves at a time.
These fallen leaves--especially those of deciduous trees--pile up on the forest floor, forming leaf litter, which is one of the many ecosystems supported by the temperate deciduous forest biome. To learn more about the leaf litter ecosystem (and other ecosystems found in this biome) click on one of the images below and start your journey into the heart of the forest.
<=== Click here to explore a reservoir ecosystem.
Click here to explore a leaf litter ecosystem. ===>