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A hemiboreal forest has some characteristics of a boreal forest, and also shares features with temperate-zone forests to the south. Coniferous trees predominate in the hemiboreal zone, but a significant number of deciduous species, such as aspens, oaks, maples, ash trees, birches, beeches, hazels, and hornbeams, also occur.
The term sometimes denotes the form of climate characteristic of the zone of hemiboreal forests—specifically, the climates designated Dfb, Dwb and Dsb in the Köppen climate classification scheme. On occasion, it is applied to all areas that have long, cold winters and warm (but not hot) summers—including areas that are semiarid and arid based on average annual precipitation.
Examples of locations with hemiboreal climates or ecosystems include:
- Much of southern Canada (all of southeastern Canada except for parts of southern Ontario as well as the central Prairie Provinces outside the grasslands)
- Within the United States: most parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, along with eastern North Dakota
- The Southern Siberian rainforest in Russia includes hemiboreal forests.
- Southernmost Norway and Southern Sweden except the most southern municipalities.
- Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Estonia.
- Coastal zone and archipelago of Turku in Finland and region of Åland.