How have temperate coniferous trees adapted to the natural
Trees are evergreen therefore they are able to photosynthesise whenever
temperatures rise above 3ΊC, important in spring and even on some sunny winter
days. This gives them an advantage over deciduous species that have to use
precious energy growing new leaves every spring.
The conical shape enables trees to shed snow which might break branches.
Flexible trunks prevent snapping in high winds, common in these regions.
Needle leaves have a small surface
area and are waxy which reduces water lost by transpiration. Both of these
adaptations are important as these trees grow in low rainfall areas, often less
than 500mm per year.
Dark forest floor and acid pine needles limit ground vegetation and
competition for nutrients.
Cones protect seeds from extreme winter cold and summer forest fires.
Resinous bark protects trees from extreme winter cold.
Wide, spreading roots to:
collect nutrients from the shallow soil. The soils are thin and
most of the nutrients are held within the litter layer
provide anchorage against strong winds
avoid the subsoil which is frozen for much of the year