For the Love of Geography: Fresh water ecosystems

Fresh water ecosystems are not forests but contain various forms of plants, shrubs and trees that thrive in a watery home.  Included in these ecosystems are marshlands, swamps, wetlands.

Tidal Salt Marsh: Grays Beach, Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts

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Forested Swamp: Cypress Swamp, Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi

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Fen: Mounds State Park, Indiana

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Freshwater Marsh: Everglades National Park, Florida

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For the Love of Geography: Hot Dry Forests

Dry, warm forests include savannah, chaparral and desert. Dry forests have a combination of grasslands, shrubs and small trees.

  • Savannah is a warm dry forest characterized by grasses, palm, pine, and acacia. 

Big Cypress National Preserve

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  • Chaparral forests (Mediterranean) have significant numbers of trees but with grassland mixed in. It is often referred to as scrub. 

Crystal Grove State Park, California

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  • Deserts receive so little rainfall that only xerophytic (water retaining) plants. These plants and trees include the dragon tree, Joshua tree, aloe and yucca.          

Coronado National Forest, Arizona

Other posts in this series on Forests: Temperate Forests, Coniferous Forests, Deciduous Forests, Cold Dry Forests, Hot Dry Forests 

For the Love of Geography: Cold Dry Forests

People often imagine a dry forest as a hot environment; however, cold climates can also be dry. Dry, cold forests include steppe and alpine. Dry forests have a combination of grasslands, shrubs with groupings of various types of trees including conifers.

  • Steppe is a cold dry forest close to montane barriers. Halfway between a forest and desert it consists of grasslands, shrubs and sparse groupings of trees

Caribou National Forest, Idaho

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Fossil Butte National Monument, Wyoming

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  • Alpine forests, often referred to as montane forests, occur above 10,000 feet and have long winters. Plants are small and close to the ground. Conifers are sparse.   

Mt Shastina, California

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Other posts in this series on Forests: Temperate Forests, Coniferous Forests, Deciduous Forests, Cold Dry Forests, Hot Dry Forests

For the Love of Geography: Deciduous Forests

Deciduous forests can be found worldwide but are most widespread in eastern United States, central Europe and eastern Europe. The deciduous forest is comprised of broadleaf trees and have four distinct season and the leaves change color and lose their leaves in the winter.

Hominy Ridge Lake, Salamonie River State Forest, Indiana

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Hoosier National Forest, Indiana

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Mountain Farm, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, North Carolina

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Other posts in this series on Forests: Temperate Forests, Coniferous Forests, Deciduous Forests, Cold Dry Forests, Hot Dry Forests

For the Love of Geography: Coniferous Forests

Coniferous trees have seed bearing cones such as pine trees. Most coniferous forests are located in cold areas including northern Eurasia, Canada and northwestern United States. Coniferous forests include softwood trees such as fir, hemlock and spruce.

Mount Rainier, Central Washington

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Glacier National Park, Montana

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Batchawana Bay, Ontario

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Other posts in this series on Forests: Temperate Forests, Coniferous Forests, Deciduous Forests, Cold Dry Forests, Hot Dry Forests

For the Love of Geography: Temperate Forests

Temperate forests are located within humid biomes of North America and Eurasia that have distinct warm and cool seasons. They are dominant in broadleaf (ie: oak, beech, maple) with a coniferous mixed in (ie: pine, fir, spruces).

Temperate rainforest: Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington

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Temperate Mixed: Hillman State Park, Pennsylvania

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Other posts in this series on Forests: Temperate Forests, Coniferous Forests, Deciduous Forests, Cold Dry Forests, Hot Dry Forests

For the Love of Geography – Forests

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When you think of a forest you may entertain images of lush green wooded areas rich and dense with marvelous mix of deciduous and evergreen trees, thick shrubs and verdant plants. If you grew up anywhere east of the Mississippi this may be your first image of a forest as it was mine before my first trip west.

 

 

 

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Several years ago I drove through the Inyo National Forest in eastern California and while I knew I was in a forest (that’s what the sign said) I wondered where those lush green trees were. While national forests have more to offer than my idea traditional forest, we drove for hours and found few trees, only shrubs, bristle cone pines and Joshua trees. The purpose of the national forest is to preserve the wilderness in its many different forms.

 

 

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Same trip, while driving through Washington I noticed the mountains covered in evergreens, not a deciduous tree anywhere. Not the forests I was used to.

Knowing there were many types of forests was one thing but seeing them, experiencing them, transports you to a whole different world.

 

 

These are some different types of forests I will be covering in subsequent posts: tropical and temperate rainforests, conifer (cone bearing), deciduous (leaf shedding), temperate mixed (both cone bearing and leaf shedding), savannah (sparse trees), Mediterranean (California coast), xerophytic (desert) and wetlands.

Other posts in this series on Forests: Temperate Forests, Coniferous Forests, Deciduous Forests, Cold Dry Forests, Hot Dry Forests

Travel theme: Mountains

Mountains, another of my favorite subjects!

 

Check out this and other Travel Themes.

For the Love of Geography: Sonoran Desert

Saguaro National Park (West), Arizona

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Saguaro National Park, Arizona

 

Other posts in this series on Deserts: Great Basin, Chihuahuan Desert, High Desert Land, Sonoran Desert 

For the Love of Geography: High Desert Land

The Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Escape Dunes

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

Hiking on the Great Sand Dunes

Other posts in this series on Deserts: Great Basin, Chihuahuan Desert, High Desert Land, Sonoran Desert