Forest Ecosystem Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 What Is a Forest?
  • 0:15 What Are Ecosystems?
  • 0:35 The Forest Ecosystem
  • 1:49 Five Levels of a Forest
  • 3:07 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Debra Patuto

Debra has taught at elementary levels and has an M.ed with certification in elementary education and special education

This lesson teaches you about the forest ecosystem. It highlights the different kinds of forests there are and guides you through the different levels of a forest.

What Is a Forest?

What's the first thing you think of when someone says the word 'forest'? Do trees come into mind? Well, that's exactly what a forest is: an area of land that's made up of trees.

What Are Ecosystems?

An ecosystem is a group of living and non-living things that depend on each other to survive. The living things within an ecosystem are organisms like plants, animals, trees, and insects that interact with each other and with the non-living things in the ecosystem, such as the weather, soil, sun, climate, and surrounding atmosphere.

The Forest Ecosystem

A forest ecosystem is a large area of land that's covered in trees and other woody plants and filled with living animals. There are three main types of forests: tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, and coniferous forests.

Tropical rainforests are found near the equator (the center of Earth), where they are warm all year round. It usually rains in rainforests every day, and there are many different species of animals that live in the different levels of the rainforest.

Deciduous forests are made up of trees that shed their leaves in autumn. Worms, snails, and spiders enjoy their rich soil, and they have warm summers and cold winters. In the winter, animals that live in deciduous forests hibernate, or sleep through the winter, and birds migrate to warmer areas in the world. Raccoons, rabbits, and squirrels are common animals found in deciduous forests.

Coniferous forests are the coldest and driest of the three types of forest; they have mild summers, but very long, cold winters. The trees in coniferous forests are evergreens and grow cones (that's why they're called 'cone'-iferous'). Animals that live in coniferous forests include deer, bears, moose, lynxes, beavers, and birds like gray owls and warblers.

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