The Taiga Biome

Richard Wunschel's Flyer about a Taiga

The "Building Blocks" of a Taiga

This is the biome of the needleleaf pine, a kind of evergreen tree, whose leaves shed year round. The temperatures for winter average from -1C down to -54C. The summers are hot and moist, -7C to 21C. The autumn and spring come and go so fast, it's like they didn't even exist in the first place. There also aren't very many plants that live here, mostly coniferous trees like the needleleaf, and white spruce, but there are also some lichens and mosses which thrive in these conditions. Because of this, there are only specialized species which live in taigas. The rain comes down at 30 - 85 cm a year, most coming down as rain, snow, and dew.

Animals, Plants, and Scenery

How do the plants adapt?

As said before, the taiga biome is a harsh place, the temperatures can be freezing cold and burning hot. The forests are susceptible to wildfires; sometimes a blessing, sometimes not so. But the plants have natural defenses against such a disaster. The white spruces have waxy leaves, preventing the leaves from drying out during the winter. Many lichens and mosses flourish in the environment's harsh weather, relishing in the open taiga. The Douglas fir, a tree native to taigas, also has these same adaptations, having the ability to resist fires and cold.


How do the animals adapt?

The animals in a taiga have to be wily too. They have unique adaptations which make them able to live in such a harsh environment. The snowshoe rabbit, for example, has its feet and fur to save its life on occasions. It's necessary because its predators, such as the wolverine, has adaptations to better stalk these rabbits. Wolverines, adapting with strong jaws and swift body, is a powerful hunter. Bobcats, with claws to climb and kill. The very uncommonly mentioned lynx, quick and sly, ready to strike down sheep and caribou with delight. Another tiny herbivore to mention: the vole. It is a small rodent, with a stout body, round head, and easily mistaken for other animals like moles and mice. They adapt to the taiga by being able to burrow into holes, eat the roots of plants, and live in the hole and produce young as the targeted plant dies.


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Food Web

As seen in this food web, It is just like other food webs; plants make energy, herbivore eats plant for energy, and carnivore eats herbivore and other carnivores. The cottontail is eaten by the mink, the deer gets killed and consumed by a wolverine, skunks eat the bug who is snug in a rug, etc., etc. Snowy owls have to compete with other top predators, mainly arctic foxes, hawks, and great horned owls.


The Threats to Taiga Biomes

Like all biomes, the taiga is threatened by humans. We cut down the trees, make homes out of them, and build our factories to insert smog in the air. But these threats are real. The largest biome in the world is threatened with destruction. If we don't stop our actions, we will destroy the voles, the lynx will be extinct, and we will be the ones to blame. The global importance of the taiga is real: it is the nesting place for millions of birds during the summer, who nest there and eat many of the insects. Destroying the biome will extinct hundreds of species, disrupt nesting of birds, and remove the bridge between tundras and plains. The largest biome is at stake.