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What are the characteristics of the temperate deciduous woodland biome?

Temperate deciduous woodland is found between the latitudes of 40 and 60 degrees north and south of the equator. It is a high energy biome, meaning it has a high level of productivity and exists in a state of self regulated equilibrium. It experiences high levels of rainfall, 500-1500mm/year, and both summer and winter temperatures are not extreme. Its trees have large crowns of broad, thin leaves. Trees in this biome shed their leaves in autumn when it is cooler. The large crowns maximise the area over which the tree can absorb sunlight for photosynthesis. The dominant tree in this biome is oak, which can be 30-40m tall. Other tree species include elm, lime and ash, with an average height of 20m. Below the canopy is a shrub layer competing with it for light. This includes smaller trees such as rowan, hazel and hawthorn. Below this is the field layer which features brambles, bracken and flowering plants such as bluebells. The field layer's main period of growth is in spring before the canopy fully develops and restricts its access to light. The ground layer is the final layer with plants such as moss and lichen as well as a thick layer of leaf litter. The decompostion of leaf litter ensures that the soils are deep and fertile.

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