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Encyclopedia > Boreal forest

Taiga (SAMPA /taIg@/, from Russian тайга́) is a biome characterized by its coniferous forests. In Canada, the term boreal forest is used to refer to the southern part of this biome; the term taiga is used to described the more barren northern areas south of the Arctic tree_line.

It is the most northerly zone in which trees, and species which need them, can survive. It is a northern subarctic and humid biogeographic region in which the main plant life is coniferous larches, spruces, pines and firs, which are adapted to the cold climate. Some broadleaf trees also occur, notably birches, aspens, willows and rowans. Bogs and their associated plants are also common in this zone (see muskeg), which covers most of inland Canada and northern Russia.

A considerable number of birds such as Siberian Thrush, White's Thrush and Dark-throated Thrush migrate to this habitat to take advantage of the long summer days and abundant insect food in that season.

Some seed_eating birds and large omnivorous birds that can take live prey or carrion will also maintain a presence in this zone in winter. They include Crossbill, Golden Eagle, Raven and Rough-legged Buzzard

Relatively few mammals can cope with the harsh winters. Those that can include Moose, Lynx, Beaver, Snowshoe Hare, Lemming, Caribou and several members of the weasel family such as Wolverine and Pine Marten.

Soil of taiga is very acidic due to the vegetation. When needles that have fallen from conifers decompose, they secrete an acid that helps prevent plants other than conifers from growing there. This acidic soil also comes when evergreen trees are planted in other biomes, such as Precipitation is about 40-85cm/yr. in fog, snow and rain.

Compare with tundra.

Boreal Forests/Taiga ecoregions

Nearctic ecozone

Alaska Peninsula montane taiga (Canada, United States)
Cook Inlet taiga (United States)
Copper Plateau taiga (United States)
Eastern Canadian forests (Canada)
Eastern Canadian Shield taiga (Canada)
Interior Alaska-Yukon lowland taiga (United States)
Mid-Continental Canadian forests (United States)
Muskwa-Slave Lake forests (Canada)
Newfoundland Highland forests (Canada)
Northern Canadian Shield taiga (Canada)
Northern Cordillera forests (Canada)
Northwest Territories taiga (Canada)
South Avalon-Burin oceanic barrens (Canada)
Southern Hudson Bay taiga (Canada)
Yukon Interior dry forests (Canada)

Palearctic ecozone

East Siberian taiga (Russia)
Iceland boreal birch forests and alpine tundra (Iceland)
Kamchatka-Kurile meadows and sparse forests (Russia)
Northeast Siberian taiga (Russia)
Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga (Russia)
Sakhalin Island taiga (Russia)
Scandinavian and Russian taiga (Finland, Norway, Russia, Mongolia, Russia)
Urals montane tundra and taiga (Russia)
West Siberian taiga (Russia)

External link

  • Information about this biome (http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/where_we_work/ecoregions/global200/pages/habitat/habitat06.htm)


  Results from FactBites:
Taiga (1141 words)
The taiga or boreal forest exists as a nearly continuous belt of coniferous trees across North America and Eurasia.
Overlying formerly glaciated areas and areas of patchy permafrost on both continents, the forest is mosaic of successional and subclimax plant communities sensitive to varying environmental conditions.
the characteristic closed-canopy needleleaf evergreen boreal forest; and
Hinterland Who's Who - Canada's Boreal Forest (3178 words)
Many of the birds that we see in our communities have bred in the boreal forest or passed through it travelling north or south, and many of these are the singers of the forests—small birds such as warblers, vireos, thrushes, kinglets, grosbeaks, sparrows, and flycatchers—which are hard to see but wonderful to hear.
The boreal forest is a challenging home for reptiles and amphibians, which depend on environmental conditions to regulate their body temperatures.
The forest sector is reducing the impact of forestry on boreal water resources and is identifying areas critical for biodiversity.
  More results at FactBites »



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