Climate Change

Page 2 of 3


Forests are a complex ecological system in which trees are the dominant life-form. Tree-dominated forests can occur wherever the temperatures rise above 10 °C (50 °F) in the warmest months and the annual precipitation is more than 200 mm (8 inches). They can develop under a variety of conditions within these climatic limits, and the kind of soil, plant, and animal life differs according to the extremes of environmental influences.

Britannica, 2015

Types of Forests
Library Resources
Tasmanian Forests
Web Resources

Types of Forests

In cool, high-latitude subpolar regions, forests are dominated by hardy conifers like pines, spruces, and larches. These taiga (boreal) forests have prolonged winters and between 250 and 500 mm (10 and 20 inches) of rainfall annually.

In more temperate high-latitude climates, mixed forests of both conifers and broad-leaved deciduous trees predominate. Broad-leaved deciduous forests develop in middle-latitude climates, where there is an average temperature above 10 °C (50 °F) for at least six months every year and annual precipitation is above 400 mm (16 inches). A growing period of 100 to 200 days allows deciduous forests to be dominated by oaks, elms, birches, maples, beeches, and aspens.

In the humid climates of the equatorial belt, tropical rainforests develop. There heavy rainfall supports evergreens that have broad leaves instead of needle leaves, as in cooler forests. In the lower latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, the temperate deciduous forest reappears. 

Britannica, 2015

Library Resources

A word about spelling. Some books and internet sites spell "rain forests" as two seperate words; other resources spell it as one word "rainforests".  If you are having trouble finding material try spelling it the other way.

On the shelves

The Library catalogue is a powerful searching tool.  Use it to find the following resources:


  • The Overstory by Richard Powers. Richard Powers is an American author whose work explores the effects of modern science and technology.  The Overstory is a novel set over time that follows several families with some connection to trees.  This books was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018.


Issues in Society

Britannica E-STAX

Reference resources

General encyclopedia

  • World Book

Subject encyclopedia

Tasmanian Forests

Tasmanian forests

Tasmanian ancient forests contain unique flora and fauna; including the tallest flowering trees on the planet. They have also been the scene of significant conflict between those who wish to conserve these forests and others who wish to use the resources found there.

The following books on our shelves will help you explore these issues:

From the Library archives

These books feature the work of two significant Tasmanian wildlife photographers:


  • Pearce, Fred 2006, Fuels gold: are biofuels really the greenhouse-busting answer to our energy woes? It's not that simple, New Scientist, v.191, n.2570, pp.36-41. Far from solving the world's fuel problems, critics say, biofuels will trash rainforests, suck water reserves dry, kill of species and raise food prices.
  • Baird, Nicola 1999, Breathtaking, New Internationalist, December 1999, n.319, pp.20-22. This article reveals the power and mystery of rainforests, whose destruction is making the Earth short of breath.
  • Wallace, Scott, 2007, Last of the Amazon, National Geographic, January 2007, vol.211, no.1, pp.40-71. The market forces of globalization are invading the Amazon, hastening the demise of the forest and thwarting its most committed stewards. In the past three decades, hundreds of people have died in land wars; countless others endure fear and uncertainty their lives threatened by those who profit from the theft of timber and land.

Web Resources