By: Morgan Kahn P.4 Biology
Location And Abiotic Factors
Taiga is the largest biome in the world. It stretches over Eurasia and North America. The taiga is located near the top of the world, just below the tundra biome. The winters in the taiga are very cold with only snowfall. The summers are warm, rainy, and humid.
The winter temperature range is -65 to 30° F. The winters are really cold, with lots of snow. Temperature range in the summer gets as low as 20° F. Their summers are usually very short, rainy and humid. The most rain falls during the summer, and the total precipitation in a year is 30 - 85 cm (12 - 33 in).
The main seasons in the taiga are winter and summer. The spring and autumn are so short, you hardly know they exist. It is either hot and humid or extremely cold.
There are not a lot of species of plants in the taiga because of the harsh weather conditions. Not many plants can survive the extreme cold of the taiga winter. There are some lichens and mosses, but most plants are coniferous trees like pine, white spruce, hemlock and douglas fir.
Coniferous trees are also known as evergreens. They have long, thin waxy needles. The wax gives them some protection from freezing temperatures and from drying out. Evergreens don't loose their leaves in the winter like deciduous trees. They keep their needles all year long. This is so they can start photosynthesis as soon as the weather gets warm. The dark color of evergreen needles allows them to absorb heat from the sun and also helps them start photosynthesis early.
Evergreens in the taiga tend to be thin and grow close together. This gives them protection from the cold and wind. Evergreens also are usually shaped like an upside down cone to protects the branches from breaking under the weight of all that snow. The snow slides right off the slanted branches.
Animals of the taiga tend to be predators like the lynx and members of the weasel family like wolverines, bobcat, minks and ermine. They hunt herbivores like snowshoe rabbits, red squirrels and voles. Red deer, elk, and moose can be found in regions of the taiga where more deciduous trees grow.
Five Ways Animals Adapt:
1) Animals grow fur coats to stay warm in the cold winters.
2) Black Bears will eat anything, but 75% of its diet is made up plants and other vegetation, while the other 25% is made up of, carcasses, honey, small mammals and insects.
3) Bald Eagles do not need to eat every day and will change their diet depending on where they live.
4) River otters have two different types of fur: they have an outer coat of guard that protect their other set of fur which is an inner coat of short, dense fur.
5) Most animals hibernate during cold weather.
Animal Life Continued
A) Both Bears and Foxes competing for the same food source (caribou or deer).
B) Two Herbivores competing for the same grass area.
A) A hawk eats a mouse.
B) A bear eating a fish.
C) lynx and the snowhare
D) the falcon and the other birds that they eat
The largest threat to the taiga is deforestation. Also some other threats to the Taiga are oil and gas exploration, road building, mining, human triggered forest fire, and climate change.
- Wood Bison
- The Siberia Crane
- The Amur/ Siberian Tiger
- Peregrine Falcon
- Snow Leopards
- Whopping Crane
- Canadian Lynx
- Amur Leopard
- European Mink
- Przewalski's Horse
The taiga helps the environment and humanity in many ways. The taiga filters millions of liters of water everyday.The massive number of trees in the taiga remove carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen. Humans also cut down trees for wood in the taiga, but if done incorrectly (like gathering too much) it can be extremely harmful to the taiga. This is one of the biggest threats to the taiga.