South of the tundra lies the vast taiga boreal forest zone, the largest of the environmental regions. As the glaciers began to retreat gradually about 18, years ago, species of the taiga began to move northward in Europe and North America.
Biology Biomes Boreal Forests — Taiga Boreal Forests — Taiga The mysterious forests and treacherous quagmires of the far northern latitudes have inspired storytellers for centuries. The Nordic fables that we read as bedtime stories paint a vivid picture of the northern boreal forests.
Large mammals like moose, bears and wolves are commonly found here, and many people actually do get sucked into the bogs and marshes.
Beyond these dangers, the forest itself is often dark and mysterious. Thick stands of Fir and Spruce trees create a canopy that blocks most of the sunlight, making it dark and difficult to navigate. The bogs and marshes contain plant species with amazing adaptations for survival, and the forest can be truly enchanting, despite the lack of gingerbread-house-dwelling witches.
Where can we find them?
With short, cool summers and long, cold winters, these forests form an almost contiguous belt around the Earth, sandwiched between temperate deciduous forests to the south and tundra to the north. South of the boreal forest, the growing season is longer, warmer, and better suited for deciduous trees, so temperate deciduous forests dominate.
North of the boreal forest, temperatures stay cold enough to keep any trees from growing, and we call this region the tundra. Climate As we have said, boreal forests are characterized by having a very short growing season in which plants only have about frost-free days to grow.
But in these regions, moisture tends to stick around for longer periods of time due to low temperatures and evaporation rates. Therefore, even though these regions receive as little precipitation as some deserts, they remain moist for most of the growing season!
This peculiar, dry-but-moist climate is mainly influenced by the interaction of two air masses during the summer and winter.
For example, air masses that were created in arctic regions tend to be cold for obvious reasons and dry, because water does not evaporate into the air as much in the Arctic. So, when the arctic air mass moves to another region, it brings cold, dry weather with it.
During the summer in the boreal forest, warm, moist air from the Pacific air mass moves north, bringing warm weather and rain. During the winter, cold, dry air from the Arctic air mass pushes south, into the boreal forest, causing the cold, dry winters.
Snowy Boreal Forest Interestingly, when temperatures start to drop in the fall, the snow that falls on the taiga actually helps to keep it warm!
The thick snow drifts that accumulate in the forest insulate the ground below them like a thermos, allowing the soil temperatures to stay above freezing, while the air above them is well below it. Soil One of the most important abiotic factors in any forest ecosystem is the condition of the soil.
Factors like nutrient levels, moisture content, and decomposition rates determine what plants are able to grow there. In soils like this, water leaches through the upper layer of sandy soil quickly, dragging almost all available nutrients with it.
Then, the decomposed material organic nutrients and fine grained quartz sand and clay that leached through the soil are broken down and chemically altered to form a layer of gray, nutrient-poor clay.
Not only is the soil lacking vital nutrients for plant growth, but coniferous trees poison it to keep other plants from sprouting! The needles from coniferous trees in these forests contain a high concentration of resins, oils and other chemicals that can help prevent them from freezing solid in the winter.
When they fall off the tree, though, all of those chemicals leach into the soil, making it very acidic and often toxic to other plants. Finally, remember that evaporation does not happen very quickly in a boreal forest. The little precipitation that does fall in these forests accumulates in the soil, decreasing the amount of available oxygen and slowing the rate of decomposition.
Put it all together and you get a poisonous, acidic soil that leaches the few nutrients it has available for plants to grow; harsh conditions indeed! What do they look like? Light and Dark Like fine chocolate, boreal forests come in two flavors: The dark taiga is commonly found in the southern range, where the climate and soil conditions are more favorable for plants and thick stands of Spruce and Hemlock create a closed canopy.Have you ever driven through a desert on a trip to anywhere?.
Disclaimer: Copyright © Missouri Botanical Garden. What is a Biome? A biome is a large geographical area of distinctive plant and animal groups, which are adapted to that particular environment. Did You Know?
Biodiversity may become the rallying call for the next decade, wrote David Wake in the journal Science in Indeed, biodiversity is a word you're likely to encounter in writing about ecology and the environment today.
But when Wake used it, "biodiversity" was still a relatively new addition to the English language, having first appeared in writing in the mids. The large coniferous forest found in Canada is called the Taiga. There are many swamps, mountains and forests in the Taiga that are home to the Bobcat.
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Taiga, also called boreal forest, biome (major life zone) of vegetation composed primarily of cone-bearing needle-leaved or scale-leaved evergreen trees, found in northern circumpolar forested regions characterized by long winters and moderate to high annual tranceformingnlp.com taiga, “land of the little sticks” in Russian, takes its name from the collective term for the northern forests of.