Some of the most popular varieties of deciduous trees include birches, maples, locusts, and oaks. Many deciduous trees, such as cherry trees, crabapples, magnolias, and dogwood trees, bloom when they have no leaves or are just beginning to grow new leaves. The increase in surface area allows deciduous trees to absorb a substantial amount of sunlight very efficiently for photosynthesis, but it also creates a greater need for water, since broad leaves also lose water more easily. Forests in which most trees lose their foliage at the end of the typical growing season are called deciduous forests.
The word “deciduous” may seem to have to do with deciding something while studying, but in reality it is about the loss or detachment of parts. In botany, deciduous specifically refers to the leaves of a group of trees and shrubs that fall off at some point during the year and then grow back due to changes in season or climate. In other parts of the world, including tropical, subtropical and arid regions, deciduous trees lose their leaves during the dry season or other seasons, depending on variations in rainfall. A tree is deciduous only if it periodically loses its leaves and recovers them at some point in its life cycle.
The reason deciduous trees lose their leaves is to conserve energy and go into a state of dormancy when there is little sunlight during winter or drought. However, deciduous trees in tropical and Mediterranean areas lose their leaves when there is a dry season or drought. Several deciduous plants remove nitrogen and carbon from the foliage before they are shed and store them as proteins in the vacuoles of the parenchyma cells of the roots and the inner bark. Deciduous trees are found in many parts of the world, not only in temperate zones, but also in tropical areas (such as rainforests) and in Mediterranean areas.
The word “deciduous” means that some part or appendage of a plant or animal will fall off or break off naturally. Each year, these deciduous trees show off a brilliant show of color as they prepare to enter their dormant period. This allows deciduous plants to have xylem vessels with larger diameters and, therefore, a higher rate of perspiration (and, therefore, of CO2 absorption, since this occurs when the stomata are open) during the summer growth period. Consider which of these trees you can now identify as a deciduous tree based on the information you've learned.
Trees in these latitudes are not subject to a significant decrease in daylight hours as are temperate deciduous trees. So what is a deciduous tree in terms of function, location, unique characteristics, and appearance? How do you define a deciduous tree scientifically?.