taiga

What is taiga

I am a resident of a fabulous country.

Taiga coniferous forests: plant and animal world.

The largest natural zone in Russia is the taiga. Coniferous forests can be confidently called “lungs of the Earth,” because it is on them that the state of the air, the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide depends. Rich wood reserves, mineral deposits are concentrated here, many of which are being discovered to date.

Taiga northern forests
Taiga northern forests

Location in Russia.

A wide strip is spread in our country taiga. Coniferous forests occupy most of Siberia (Eastern, Western), the Urals, Baikal, the Far East and mountain Altai. The zone originates on the western border of Russia, it stretches to the coast of the Pacific Ocean – the Sea of ​ ​ Japan and Okhotsk.

Taiga coniferous forests border other climatic zones. In the north, they are adjacent to the tundra, in the west – to broad-leaved forests. In some cities of the country, there is an intersection of taiga with forest-steppe and mixed forests.

Nature of Yakutia forest
Nature of Yakutia forest

Location in Europe.

Taiga coniferous forests cover not only Russia, but also some foreign countries. Among them are the countries of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Canada. Around the world, taiga massifs occupy a huge territory and are considered the largest zone on the planet.

The extreme border of the biome on the south side is located on the island of Hokkaido (Japan). The north side is bounded by Taimyr. This location explains the leading position of the taiga in length among other natural zones.

Climate.

A large biome is located in two climatic zones at once – temperate and subarctic. This explains the variety of weather conditions in the taiga. The temperate climate provides warm summers. The average temperature of the natural zone in the summer is 20 degrees above zero. Cold Arctic air affects sharp temperature differences and affects taiga winters, the air here can cool to 45 degrees below zero. In addition, permeating winds are observed at all times of the year.

Forest of Siberia
Forest of Siberia

Taiga coniferous forests are characterized by increased humidity due to their location in a marshy area and low evaporation. In summer, most of the precipitation falls in the form of light and heavy rains. In winter, there is a lot of snow – the thickness of its formation is 50-80 centimeters, it does not melt for 6-7 months. In Siberia, there is a perennial permafrost.

Fabulous Taiga Country.

The largest, longest and richest natural zone is the taiga. Coniferous forests cover 15 million square kilometers of Earth’s land! The width of the zone in the European part is 800 kilometers, in Siberia – more than 2 thousand kilometers.

The formation of taiga forests began in the last era, before the onset and melting of glaciers. However, the zone received a detailed analysis and characteristics only in 1898 thanks to P.N. Krylov, who defined the concept of “taiga” and formulated its main characteristics.

Taiga of the Far East
Taiga of the Far East

Especially rich in bio bodies of water. Famous Russian rivers originate here – the Volga, Lena, Kama, Northern Dvina and others. Crossing the taiga Yenisei and Ob. In coniferous forests there are the largest Russian reservoirs – Bratskoye, Rybinsk, Kamskoye. In addition, there are many groundwater in the taiga, which explains the predominance of swamps (especially in Northern Siberia and Canada). Due to the temperate climate and sufficient humidification, there is a rapid development of the plant world.

Subzones of the taiga.

The natural zone is divided into three subzones, which are distinguished by climatic features, plant and animal life.

Northern. It is characterized by a cold climate. It’s a rough winter and a cool summer. Vast areas of land are occupied by swampy terrain. Forests are in most cases low-growth, small spruce trees and pine trees are observed.

Average. It is distinguished by moderation. The climate is temperate – warm summers, cold, but not frosty winters. Many different types of swamps. High humidity. Trees of ordinary height, mainly sprout blueberries.

Southern. Here is observed the most diverse animal and plant world, coniferous forests. Taiga has an admixture of broad-leaved and small-leaved tree species. The climate is warm, characterized by hot summers, which last for almost four months. Reduced swampiness.

The Beauty of the Taiga
The Beauty of the Taiga

Types of forests.

Depending on the vegetation, several types of taiga differ. The main ones are light-tailed and dark-tailed forests. Along with the trees, there are meadows that arose at the site of the deforestation.

Light-armed type. Mainly distributed in Siberia. Also found in other areas (Ural, Canada). It is located in a sharply continental climatic zone, characterized by numerous precipitation and moderate weather conditions. One of the common species of trees is pine – a light-loving representative of the taiga. Such forests are spacious and bright. Larch is another common species. The forests are even lighter than pine forests. Tree crowns are rare, so in such “flocks” there is a feeling of open terrain.

Dark-water type – the most common in Northern Europe and mountain ranges (Alps, Altai Mountains, Carpathians). Its territory is located in temperate and mountainous climates, characterized by high humidity. Fir and spruce prevail here, juniper and dark-haired pine are less common.

East Siberian Taiga
East Siberian Taiga

Plant world.

At the beginning of the 19th century, no one shared natural zones, and their differences and features were not known. Fortunately, to date, geography has been studied in more detail, and the necessary information is available to everyone. Taiga coniferous forest – trees, plants, shrubs… What is the characteristic and interesting plant world of this zone?

In forests – a weakly expressed or absent undergrowth, which is explained by an insufficient amount of light, especially in dark-haired teas. Monotony of moss is observed – as a rule, only a green species can be found here. Shrubs grow – currants, juniper, and shrubs – lingonberries, blueberries.

BLUE TAIGA
BLUE TAIGA

 

The type of forest depends on climatic conditions. The western side of the taiga is characterized by the dominance of European and Siberian spruce. Spruce-fir forests germinate in mountainous areas. Larch clusters extend to the east. The Okhotsk coast is rich in a variety of tree species. In addition to coniferous representatives, there are deciduous taiga trees. Mixed forests consist of aspen, alder, birch.

Siberia Taiga Mountains
Siberia Taiga Mountains

Taiga Animal World.

The fauna of taiga coniferous forests is diverse and unique. There are many diverse insects. Nowhere is there such a number of fur animals observed, among which are gyrus, sable, hare, weasel. Climatic conditions are favorable for sedentary animals, but unacceptable for cold-blooded creatures. Only a few species of amphibians and reptiles live in the taiga. Their low number is associated with harsh winters. The rest of the inhabitants adapted to the cold seasons. Some of them go into hibernation or anabiosis, while their vital activities are slowed down.

What animals live in coniferous forests? Taiga, where there are so many shelters for animals and an abundance of food, is inherent in the presence of predators such as lynx, brown bear, wolf, fox. Ungulates live here – roe deer, bison, moose, deer. Rodents live on the branches of trees and beneath them – beavers, squirrels, mice, chipmunks.

Forests of Siberia in winter
Forests of Siberia in winter

Birds.

More than 300 species of birds nest in forest flocks. Special diversity is observed in the eastern taiga – capercaillie, grouse, some varieties of owls and woodpeckers live here. Forests are characterized by high humidity and numerous reservoirs, so waterfowl are especially widespread here. Some representatives of coniferous spaces have to migrate in winter to the south, where living conditions are more favorable. Among them are Siberian drizzle and forest singing.

The Man in the Taiga.

Human activities are not always beneficial to the state of nature. Numerous fires caused by the carelessness and frivolity of people, deforestation and mining lead to a decrease in the wildlife of forests.

Picking berries, mushrooms, nuts are typical occupations popular with the local population, with which the autumn taiga is known. Coniferous forests are the main supplier of wood resources. There are also the largest mineral deposits (oil, gas, coal). Thanks to humid and fertile soil, agriculture is developed in the southern regions. Breeding of animals and hunting of wild animals is common.

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