Taiga Biome

By: Jessica Allen

Locations

  • Alaska
  • Canada
  • Scandinavian Islands
  • Russia
  • Iceland

Abiotic Factors

The abiotic factors includes temperature, sunlight, soil, air, water. In taiga biome the climate is marked by bitterly cold winter of long duration and cool brief summer season. The winter months are always below freezing point. The temperature of the coldest and the warmest months are -12 degree C and 20 degree C respectively. Soil water is frozen for 5 to 7 months of winter season in continuation. The mean annual precipitation ranging between 370mm and 600mm is received mostly in the form of snow which accumulates throughout winter and is released as surface water due to thawing because of increase in temperature during summer season. The precipitation is more or less uniformly distributed throughout the year whether in liquid form or in the solid snow form.

Native Plants

The trees in the Taiga are mainly spruce, pine, and fir. The plants adapt to harsh weather in this environment, like icy and snowy winters. For example, the needles of the pine are very smooth to help keep water inside the dark casing. The spruce's cone like shape allows them to shed ice and sleet more efficiently. Berry bushes that thrive in this biome are blueberry, bilberry, and cowberry. Berry bushes are a vital food source for mammals, birds and some types of insects. Not very common trees that grow in the Taiga are birch, oak, willow, and alder. They live in particularly wet or disturbed areas.

Native Animals

Most of the animals in this biome are mammals, such as moose, snowshoe hares, arctic fox, arctic wolves, squirrels, ermines, elk, deer, wolverines, moles, lynxes, and grizzly bears. There are birds, such as eagles, owls, peregrine falcons, snowy owls, and snow geese, and insects, such as mosquitoes, and ants.

Food Web

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Problems

The Taiga is being destroyed everyday by both humans and nature. Nature causes forest fires with lighting, diseased by parasites or herbicides, and spruce trees that grow on top thick moss are frequently blown over by strong winds. Large-scale clear cutting, plantation forestry, introduction of exotic tree species, soil sacrification, ditching, and use of pesticides or herbicides have led to habitat loss. Large-scale industrial forestry, or logging, is the greatest important threat effecting the boreal forest. The wood is used in the "pulp factory" for pulp and paper. Other threats to the Taiga are oil and gas exploration, road building, mining, human triggered forest fire, and climate change. Animals of the Taiga are being hunted and trapped for their fur which decreases their population greatly. Hydroelectric power has ruined the water system. Many fish have mercury poisoning. The Taiga is being destroyed equal to that of the rainforest.

Average Temperature and Rainfall

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Fun Things To-Do in Biome

You can go on snowmobile safaris, fishing expeditions, dog-sledding, pony trekking, and cultural tours. You can do all these things and many more, to see what awaits in the taiga.