The principal factor operating in these forests is the seasonal appearance and disappearance of the canopy. Shade from the canopy limits the growth of many kinds of plants. Many species that are typical of these forests time their growth and flowering to the short period just before the canopy opens; hence, they are known as spring ephemerals. Examples include trilliums and bloodroot. Most spring ephemerals are insect-pollinated, and the seeds themselves are often transported by ants, a mode of dispersal known as myrmecochory. A smaller number of species is able to grow under the canopy, and even a few that grow during the period when leaves are being lost. The average yearly precipitation is 30 - 60 in (75 â 150 cm). Temperate deciduous forests have a great variety of plant species. Most have three levels of plants. Lichen, moss, ferns, wildflowers, and other small plants can be found on the forest floor. The shrubs fill in the middle level, and hardwood trees like maple, oak, birch, magnolia, sweet gum, and beech make up the third level. Birds such as broad-winged hawks, cardinals, snowy owls, and pileated woodpeckers are also found in this biome. Mammals include white-tailed deer, raccoons, opossums, porcupines, and red foxes. Animals that live in the temperate deciduous forest must be able to adapt to the changing seasons.
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