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Biome Brochure (1)
Biome Brochure (2)
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Biome Brochure (2)
also known as the
, is a
Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome and covers: in
most of inland
as well as parts of the extreme northern
continental United States
; and in most of
, inland and northern
, much of
, and northern
is sometimes, particularly in Canada, used to refer to the more southerly part of the biome, while the term
is often used to describe the more barren areas of the northernmost part of the taiga approaching the
Taiga is the world's
land biome, and makes up 29% of the world's forest cover;
the largest areas are located in Russia and Canada. The taiga is the terrestrial biome with the lowest annual average temperatures after the
and permanent ice caps. However, extreme minimums in the taiga are typically lower than those of the tundra. The lowest reliably recorded temperatures in the
were recorded in the taiga of northeastern Russia. The taiga or boreal forest has a
with very large temperature range between seasons, but the long and cold winter is the dominant feature. This climate is classified as
Köppen climate classification
meaning that the short summer (24-hr average 10 °C or more) lasts 1–3 months and always less than 4 months. There are also some much smaller areas grading towards the oceanic
climate with milder winters, whilst the extreme south and (in Eurasia) west of the taiga reaches into
humid continental climates
) with longer summers. The mean annual temperature generally varies from -5 °C to 5 °C,
but there are taiga areas in eastern Siberia and interior Alaska-
where the mean annual reaches down to -10 °C.
According to some sources, the boreal forest grades into a temperate mixed forest when mean annual temperature reaches about 3 °C.
is found in areas with mean annual temperature below 0 °C, whilst in the
occurs and restricts growth to very shallow-rooted trees like
. The winters, with average temperatures below freezing, last five to seven months. Temperatures vary from −54 °C to 30 °C (-65 °F to 86 °F) throughout the whole year. The summers, while short, are generally warm and humid. In much of the taiga, -20 °C would be a typical winter day temperature and 18 °C an average summer day.
The taiga in the river valley near
, at 67°N, must deal with the coldest winter temperatures in the northern hemisphere, but the extreme continentality of the climate gives an average daily high of 22 °C in July.
, when the vegetation in the taiga comes alive, is usually slightly longer than the climatic definition of summer as the plants of the boreal biome have a lower threshold to trigger growth. In Canada, Scandinavia and Finland, the growing season is often estimated by using the period of the year when the 24-hr average temperature is 5 °C or more.
For the Taiga Plains in Canada, growing season varies from 80 to 150 days, and in the Taiga Shield from 100 to 140 days.
Some sources claim 130 days growing season as typical for the taiga.
Other sources mention that 50–100 frost-free days are characteristic.
Data for locations in southwest Yukon gives 80–120 frost-free days.
The closed canopy boreal forest in
Kenozyorsky National Park
, Russia, on average has 108 frost-free days.
The longest growing season is found in the smaller areas with oceanic influences; in coastal areas of Scandinavia and Finland, the growing season of the closed boreal forest can be 145–180 days.
The shortest growing season is found at the northern taiga–tundra
, where the northern taiga forest no longer can grow and the tundra dominates the landscape when the growing season is down to 50–70 days,
and the 24-hr average of the warmest month of the year usually is 10 °C or less.
mean that the
does not rise far above the horizon, and less
is received than further south. But the high latitude also ensures very long summer days, as the sun stays above the horizon nearly 20 hours each day, with only around 6 hours of daylight occurring in the dark winters, depending on latitude. The areas of the taiga inside the
in mid-summer and
Lakes and other water bodies are very common. The
Helvetinjärvi National Park
, Finland, situated in the closed canopy taiga (mid-boreal to south-boreal)
with mean annual temperature of 4 °C.
The taiga experiences relatively low
throughout the year (generally 200–750 mm annually, 1,000 mm in some areas), primarily as
during the summer months, but also as
. This fog, especially predominant in low-lying areas during and after the thawing of frozen Arctic seas, means that sunshine is not abundant in the taiga even during the long summer days. As
is consequently low for most of the year, precipitation exceeds evaporation, and is sufficient to sustain the dense vegetation growth. Snow may remain on the ground for as long as nine months in the northernmost extensions of the taiga ecozone.
In general, taiga grows to the south of the 10 °C July
, but occasionally as far north as the 9 °C July isotherm.
The southern limit is more variable, depending on rainfall; taiga may be replaced by
south of the 15 °C July isotherm where rainfall is very low, but more typically extends south to the 18 °C July isotherm, and locally where rainfall is higher (notably in eastern
and adjacent northern
) south to the 20 °C July isotherm. In these warmer areas the taiga has higher species diversity, with more warmth-loving species such as
, and merges gradually into
mixed temperate forest
or, more locally (on the
coasts of North America and Asia), into coniferous
The area currently classified as taiga in Europe and North America (except Alaska) was
. As the glaciers receded they left
in the topography that have since filled with water, creating
soil) found throughout the taiga.
Taiga, supports a large range of animals. Canada's boreal forest includes 85 species of
, 130 species of fish, and an estimated 32,000 species of
. Insects play a critical role as
, and as a part of the food web. Many nesting birds rely on them for food. The cold winters and short summers make the taiga a challenging biome for
, which depend on environmental conditions to regulate their body temperatures, and there are only a few species in the boreal forest. Some hibernate underground in winter.
The taiga is home to a number of large
, such as
. Some areas of the more southern closed boreal forest also have populations of other deer species such as the
. There is also a range of
. These species have evolved to survive the harsh winters in their native ranges. Some larger mammals, such as
, eat heartily during the summer in order to gain weight, and then go into
during the winter. Other animals have adapted layers of fur or feathers to insulate them from the cold.
A number of wildlife species threatened or endangered with extinction can be found in the Canadian boreal forest, including
American black bear
. Habitat loss, mainly due to logging, is the primary cause of decline for these species.
Due to the climate,
diets are an inefficient means of obtaining energy; energy is limited, and most energy is lost between
) and other smaller carnivores, including
, feed on the rodents. Larger carnivores, such as
, prey on the larger animals.
, such as
are fairly common, sometimes picking through human garbage.
More than 300 species of
grounds in the taiga.
Black-throated Green Warbler
to take advantage of the long summer days and abundance of
found around the numerous bogs and lakes. Of the 300 species of birds that summer in the taiga only 30 stay for the winter. These are either
-feeding or large
that can take live mammal prey, including
(also known as the Rough-legged Hawk), and
, or else seed-eating birds, including several species of
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