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Taiga Forest

Taiga forest in Canada

The Taiga is one of the three main forest biomes. The other two are the temperate forest and the tropical rainforest. The taiga is the driest and coldest of the three. The taiga is sometimes called the boreal forest or the coniferous forest. It is the largest of all the land biomes.

What makes a forest a taiga forest?

The taiga has several characteristics that distinguish it from the other forest biomes:
Where are the taiga forests located in the world?

These forests are located in the far north typically between the temperate forest biome and the tundra biome. On the globe this is between 50 degrees latitude north and the Arctic Circle. The largest taiga forest covers much of northern Russia and Siberia. Other major taiga forests include North America (Canada and Alaska) and Scandinavia (Finland, Norway, and Sweden).

Map of the taiga forest biome

Plants of the Taiga

The dominant plant in the taiga is the coniferous evergreen tree. These trees include spruce, pine, cedar, and fir trees. They grow close together forming a canopy over the land, like an umbrella. This canopy soaks up the sun and only lets a little bit of sunlight through to the ground.

The conifers of the taiga produce their seeds in cones. They also have needles for leaves. Needles are good at holding in water and surviving the harsh cold winds each winter. The trees also grow in a cone shape. This helps the snow to slide off their branches.

Under the canopy of the trees, few other plants grow. In some moist areas plants such as ferns, sedges, mosses, and berries will grow.

Animals of the Taiga

The animals of the taiga must be able to survive the cold winters. Some animals, like birds, migrate to the south for the winter. Insects lay eggs that can survive the winter and then die. Other animals, like squirrels, store up food for the winter while others hibernate by going into a long, deep sleep.

Predators of this biome include the lynx, wolverines, Cooper's hawk, and wolves. Other animals include moose, the snowshoe hare, deer, elk, bears, chipmunks, bats, and woodpeckers.

Animals that live here have certain characteristics that help them to survive:
Facts About the Taiga Biome Activities

More ecosystem and biome subjects:

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