Taiga Biome

The Boreal Forest

All About the Area

The Taiga is the largest biome in the world. It lacks diversity due to the harsh living conditions and is known for having acres and acres of the same species of tree. It is located in northern Canada, Asia, and Europe. The soil is thin and of low quality, which makes it even harder for plants to grow there. Fires are quite common and helpful because they rid the forest of old, sick trees.

What Grows in the Taiga?

Plant Life

Most plants in the boreal forest are trees. Almost all of these trees are coniferous, or evergreens, which do not lose their leaves (needles) in the fall, however some deciduous species do live here. Their dark color absorbs more sunlight and allows the trees to get the maximum energy from photosynthesis. Their cone-like shape and flexible branches helps the snow slide off so it doesn't break the limbs. Because the roots are frozen in the winter and cannot transport water, the needles are covered in a waxy coating which decreases transpiration. Others sprout deep roots, develop thick bark, or find other ways to adapt.


The temperature in the taiga ranges from -54C to -1C in the winter and -7C to 21C in the summer. The winds blowing down from the Arctic contribute to the cold weather. Winter can last sic months, while summer is only fifty to one hundred days long. Because it is so close to the top of the earth and because of the tilt of its axis, the sun may shine for days at a time in the summer and there are very long nights in the winter. It may rain 30 to 85cm each year.

What Lives in the Taiga?


There are far more species of animals than plants in the taiga, from moose, to showshoe hare, to the birds that feed on the mass of insects. These creatures must hibernate, migrate, or cope when the extremely cold winter comes around. The birds tend to fly south, while many mammals depend on fur to keep them warm and binge in the warm seasons when the produce is plentiful.

Trouble in the Taiga

The biggest threat to the taiga is logging, The forests are often cut down for firewood or to make paper products. These trees act as a home or source of food to many animals, and the destruction of the trees often leads to a decrease in numbers of populations. Pollution is another great issue. Acid rain, when falling water droplets falling from the air capture chemicals in the atmosphere and bring them down to water resources and into the soil. More water pollution is caused by mining and papermills. Global warning makes temperatures warmer in the southern parts of the biome. This provides an environment where deciduous trees can survive and overtake evergreens. The taiga is important to earth because it changes carbon dioxide to oxygen, which we breathe.

Talk in the Taiga-How Animals Interact

Cooperation in the Taiga

  • A lichen eats and breaks down the dead leaves of a Black Spruce Tree and creates nutrients for the tree
  • Moss grows on a tree; the tree is protected and the moss gets a home