Boreal Forest

Biome Research Project

Weather

This area has two main seasons: summer and winter. There are only 50-100 days without frost.

Temperature ranges

-65 to 30 degrees F in the winter [very cold]

20 to 70 degrees F in the summer [hot and humid]

Precipitation

Most precipitation falls in the form of rain, but some falls in the form of snow and dew


Landforms

Typically, Boreal forests are found where glaciers have melted. The glacier movement caused gouges and depressions that filled up with water and created bogs and lakes.

Boreal forests have ground that is rocky and covered with undecided leaf litter and patches of permafrost.

Animals

Animals in this area tend to be predatory such as the lynx, wolverine, bobcat, mink, and ermine. They hunt herbivores like the snowshoe hare, red squirrels and voles. Larger animals can also be found like the red deer, elk, and moose. There are also a large number of birds found in this area in the summer as it is a haven for insects, so the food supply is plentiful.


Adaptations for survival:

In order to survive the harsh winters in the Boreal Forest, animals hibernate through the cold months or migrate to warmer climates. They also produce layer of insulating feathers or fur to protect them from the cold. Many animals change color in order to camouflage themselves from predators, such as the ermine. It's dark summer coat turns white in the winter so that it can hide from predators.

Plants

Plants in this area are conifers such as the evergreen, spruce, fir, and pine. Other plants found in this biome are: lichens, moss, and hemlock.


Adaptations for survival:

The dark green needles of evergreens absorb sunlight and promote photosynthesis quickly. The needles contain a chemical that repels animals so that they are not eaten. Evergreens do not drop their needles like a deciduous tree, so they don't use a lot of energy to replace them. Their narrow needles limit the loss of water from the tree through transpiration. There is very little sap in the needles so they won't freeze.


Limiting Factors

Biotic:

Many of same types of predators after the same prey. For example lynx and bobcat are tracking a limited number of hares, squirrels, and voles.


Abiotic:

Extreme cold temperatures. Only 50-100 days per year are warm enough not to have frost. Area is prone to wildfires.

Ecological Concerns

Deforestation [logging for paper and lumber and oil industry searching for new sources of oil]

Global warming

Forest fires

Pollution