The Coniferous Forest
Climate/Location Vegetation
Animals Health Issues
Introduction

The coniferous forest or taiga (the word the Russians use for coniferous forest) is located in the nothern latitudes. It is mainly located in Canada and the upper parts of Asia and Europe. The coniferous forest gets the name coniferous because the main type of vegetation located in it is conifers such as pines. There are also a variety of animals such as caribou, black bears, and lynx.

Climate/Location

The taiga is located in the northern parts of Alaska, Canada, Asia, and Europe. The taiga is wrapped in a band around the world and has the tundra above it and the deciduous forest in the parts below it. This means that the tundra is at a latitude that is farther away from the equator then the taiga is and the deciduous forest is closer to the equator then the taiga is.

The climate of the taiga is very cold and dry but not as much as the tundra is. The taiga gets between 25-75 cm of rain per year. The taiga has cold snowy winters and warm summers. Also most of the precipitation comes in the summer months. Some other things about the climate of the taiga is that the average temperature is below freezing for six months of the year.

Vegetation

The coniferious forest has few species of vegetation compared to most of the other biomes. In some parts of Canada only eight species of trees exist. Trees and plants aren't the only part of the vegetation though.

Other things that make up parts of the area of the vegetation are bogs and marshes. These are in the coniferious forest because of the wet rainy weather year round. Forest fires are another major part of the vegetation cycle. Forest fires clear old vegetation pretty much every month allowing the new vegetation sunlight so that the new vegetation may grow.

Snow is the final essential part of vegetation. The weight of the snow breaks off old tree branches. The weight also bends the trees to an abnormal form.

The main trees that inhabit the coniferous forest are the pines and other trees like it. The reason that these trees are there is they have needles that stay on them all year round. Almost all of the trees in the taiga also produce cones, thus they have the species name conifer.

Animals

There are many different kings of animals in the taiga biome. Among them are the wolves, deer, bears, lynx, cougars, moose, and cyotes. Many of these animals are often hunted for sport and also for food. Also, some are poached, which is illegal.

The adaptations of a wolf is that it is fast, has sharp fangs, and sharp claws, which they use to catch their prey. Wolves are carnivores, so they eat mainly other animals bigger and smaller than themselves. Deer are fast and have antlers, which they use to fight off their predators. Deer are herbivores, so they eat mainly plants of all kinds. Bears have the advantage of their size, teeth, claws, and the ability to run fast. Bears are omnivores, so they will eat just about anything. Lynx are basically oversized, wild, house cats. They have speed, sharp fangs, small, sharp claws. Lynx are carnivores, so they eat mainly little animals smaller than themselves. Cougars are kind of giant cats. They have speed, sharp fangs, sharp claws, and big enough to challange even the largest of game. Cougars are omnivores, so they will eat just about anything, but they choose to eat other animals.

Health Issues

This section will not be focusing on human health issues. It will instead be about the concern for the endangered woodland caribou. This type of caribou is located in Alberta, Canada, and residents are worried that it might become extinct.

Logging is a major problem for the caribou as it destroys their habitat and lets wolves move in. The wolves are a problem because the caribou has very few ways to defend itself from the wolves. Overhunting of the caribou is another contributor to their endangered status. There is no limit on caribou on private reservations, so they are hunted freely there. Fires tie into the logging problem, as they also destroy the caribou's habitat. The final contributor is disease, which is a problem everywhere in the world, not just the woodland caribou.

Biome Index

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