Taiga

By Jacob Galle

Description

The Taiga is the largest of all the biomes. It is mainly in the northern hemisphere. It is mainly in Canada, Europe, and Asia. The southern portion of this biome is highly populated in cities like Toronto and Moscow, but the northern portion is almost unpopulated. There is a large range of temperatures from winter to summer. The summers are cool and short, but the winters are cold and long. Taiga generally has soil that is high in acid so it isn't good for growing things. It is made up of mostly coniferous trees due to the cold weather. It is also called the Boreal Forest.

Abiotic Factors

The weather and climate change drastically throughout the summer and winter. The temperature can range anywhere from -65 degrees to 30 degrees farhenheit. It does snow during the winters but not the summers. The temperature of this biome is expected to rise over the next ne hundred years.

Landforms

There are several mountain ranges that the taiga covers, including the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains. Taiga also includes talus slopes, hoodoos, folded mountains, braided river channels, limestone peaks and ridges, alluvial fans, sedimentary rocks, faults, caves, Branchiopod fossils, coral fossils, and Gastropod fossils. Due to glaciers, deep gouges and depressions have been formed. Since it snows a lot, the runoff of the melted snow almost always fills these gouges. They form rivers, lakes, and streams.

Biotic Factors- Plants

There are four main kinds of trees throughout the Taiga. They are evergreen spruce, fir, and pine. Firs are dominate in North America, but pines are dominate in Russia and Scandanavia. Almost all of the trees in the taiga are cone shaped, have needleleaves, are dark in color to absorb sunlight, and are evergreen. This helps them survive in the cold and snowy habitat.

Biotic Factors- Animals

Lynx and various members of the weasel family are the most common animals. Elk and beavers also make up the population of the Taiga. Warblers, finches, sparrows, ravens, grosbeak, pine siskin, and red crossbill are the main birds tha live here.

Ecological Concerns and Issues

The main industries are logging, hydroelectric power, and mining. These things are bad for taiga. Most of the logging is done by clear-cutting. This is bad because it takes away trees that animals need to live and feed on. Hydroelectricity changes stream habitats and cause flooding. Mining create pollution in the soil and water, and creates acid rain. Many animals that live there are sensitive to human presence.

Wildfires

Wildfires are catastrophic events that take place often in taiga because the sap in the evergreens that live there is very flammable.