The Taiga:

Boreal Forest

Weather & Climate

  • In the winter, the low can get down to -65F and the high only gets up to 30F.
  • In the summer, the low is 20F and the high is 70F.
  • Nights are longer in the winter, and days are longer in summer, though summer never lasts as long as winter does.
  • The precipitation is moderately high, and it snows a lot in the winter months.

Landforms

  • The Taiga regions are found in North America, Europe and Asia.
  • Taiga land was once covered in glaciers, and when they moved, they left deep gouges in the earth.
  • The high precipitation kept these gouges filled as bogs and lakes.
  • Soil in the Taiga is low in nutrients and high in acids since the top is covered in undecaying leaf matter.
  • Areas of the Taiga may be mountainous, while other parts may be flat, but all parts are filled with thick trees.

Animals

  • Due to the harsh conditions the Taiga winters contain, not a large variety of animals can live here.
  • During the summers, many insects migrate to the many lakes and bogs and reproduce, but leave as soon as it gets cold.
  • Various birds, rodents and chipmunks make their home here because they have fur or feathers to keep them warm.
  • Predators such as wolves, bobcats, foxes, bears and bald eagles sustain themselves on the small birds and rodents that live in the Taiga, along with the deer and moose populations.
  • Very few reptiles make the Taiga their home.

Plants

  • For trees to be able to survive the extreme cold in the Taiga, their foliage (leaves) have to have a waxy outer covering to keep the low temperature from affecting the growth of the tree.
  • Different species of trees include pine, white spruce, hemlock and douglas fir.
  • There are a few different lichens and mosses that live here also.

Adaptations

  • The number of species able to live in this biome is limited. The animals that do make their home here must have an inner layer of fur or feathers to keep out the cold.
  • Hibernation is also something the animals must do to live through the harsh winters.
  • Plants need to have some sort of outer covering or thick layers to combat the cold. If they don't, the plants will die from the wind and cold.

Predator-Prey

  • Bald eagles will prey on the various rodents in the forest.
  • Bears will eat deer and moose.
  • Wolves will prey on rodents, birds, moose and deer.

Limiting Factors

  • Biotic: Not very many animals inhabit this biome, at least not as much as other parts of the world. Game could become scarce to the predators if they hunt a species too much and then both species could die out.
  • Abiotic: The extreme cold poses a huge limiting factor to the organisms in this biome. Harsh wind also play into the extreme cold.

Ecological Concerns

  • Some areas of the taiga are undergoing deforestation due to the fact that lumber is needed all over the world.
  • Other areas, like in the Mongolian region of the Taiga, mining is posing a threat to the plant and animal species of the forest.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Taiga facts. (2002). Retrieved from http://www.mbgnet.net/sets/taiga/index.htm

Biomes: Taiga. (2005, April 28). Retrieved from http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/msese/earthsysflr/taiga.html

Forests: Boreal, or taiga. (2009, October 30). Retrieved from http://www.worldbiomes.com/biomes_forest.htm

Taiga. (2000). Retrieved from http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/taiga.htm

Taiga. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.centraliahs.org

Pictures: (In order of appearance)

windows2universe.org

blueplanetbiomes.org

rusnature.info

cotf.edu

ticrk.ru

nhptv.org

donnan.com

matthesevergreenfarm.com

emc.maricopa.edu

foxesworlds.com

embersofcaerus.com