Temperate Rainforest

There are three types of rainforests: tropical, temperate, and boreal. Tropical rainforests are warm and very wet places found near the equator that receive some 60 to 160 inches rainfall evenly distributed throughout the year. In contrast, temperate and boreal rainforests are found at high latitudes (northern and southern hemispheres), generally near coastlines, and in very wet (40 to 100 inches or more) and cool (average annual temperature of 43- 52̊ F) places that receive up to a quarter of their annual rainfall in the summer, a time when other forest types are experiencing summer droughts. Boreal rainforests are found in northern latitudes and are at the cool end of the temperature spectrum, even cooler than temperate climates. While most of the world’s boreal forests are in dry climates, a small subset with coastal influences are wet enough to qualify as rainforests. Ecologists also have recognized them as rainforests, but the general public is unaware of this distinction or its importance. 

10 Temperate and Boreal Rainforest Regions of the World

In 2011, Geos Institute and partners completed an updated global synthesis of temperate and boreal rainforests of the world, using advanced computer mapping and local partnerships with 32 scientists to identify just ten regions of the world that qualified as temperate and boreal rainforest:

temperate rainforests ten regions geos

  1. Pacific Coast of North America (redwoods to Alaska containing the greatest extent of these rainforests globally)
  2. Inland northwest British Columbia and portions of Idaho and Montana
  3. Eastern Canada (portions of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, eastern Quebec)
  4. Europe (Norway is boreal; British Isles, Ireland, Swiss Alps, and Bohemia are temperate);
  5. Western Eurasian Caucasus (Georgia, Turkey, Iran)
  6. Russian Far East and Inland Southern Siberia (transitional between boreal and temperate)
  7. Japan and Korea
  8. Australasia (Australian mainland, Tasmania, New Zealand)
  9. South Africa (Knysna-Tsitsikamma)
  10. Chile & Argentina (Valdivia temperate rainforests)

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