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Q:

Why do coniferous trees in temperate forests have needle shaped leaves?

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They have less water loss through transpiration because of the reduced area. The protective quality against cold of a needle-shaped leaf may not normally be of use in a temperate climate but the water saving that came with it means they have an advantage anyway, and in the rare event of a cold winter they remain unaffected while broad-leaved trees may suffer frost damage. more
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