Taiga: geographical location, climate, flora and fauna
Taiga is a zone of forests with a difficult climate. Therefore, the main representatives of this ecosystem are conifers, who managed to adapt to the harsh conditions. Boundless coniferous forest - this is what taiga looks like, and in the words of the people of Siberia, this word means coniferous forest.
The geographical position of the taiga
Forests in the north of Europe, Asia and America - this is taiga. It is located in Canada, Alaska and in the northern states of the United States. In Europe, the taiga occupies a significant part of Sweden, Norway and Finland, stretching across northern Russia to the east. These forests occupy about 30% of the entire forest of the Earth and are one of the largest ecosystems of our planet. In addition, the taiga is a supplier of oxygen for the atmosphere, for which it deservedly received the name of the "green lungs" of the Earth.
The boundaries of the taiga are determined by parallels: the southern boundary passes along the 42nd, and the northern - along the 72nd parallel, and partially extends beyond the northern polar circle.
Geographical location of the taiga of Russia
In the south of Russia, the border of the taiga reaches St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl and Pskov, and beyond the Urals to Ekaterinburg and Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The taiga forest is located in the mountains of the Urals and Altai, as well as in Siberia, the Far East and the Baikal region. Taiga is the largest climatic zone in Russia, having a length of more than 7,000 km from west to east.
The geographical position of the taiga determines its climate. For example, in Sweden and Norway, the climate is characterized as marine with fluctuations in temperature from –10 to +10 degrees. In eastern Siberia, the climate is sharply continental with very long and cold winters, when temperatures can drop to –60 degrees and short summers with temperatures reaching +14 degrees in the north of the region and +19 degrees in the south.
It is necessary to separately consider the climatic features of the taiga of Eastern Siberia in the basin of the Yenisei and Lena rivers, where the temperature difference varies from –62 degrees in winter to +40 degrees in summer, which is caused by anticyclones. This region is the largest land area with intact forests in the world.It is included in the World Wildlife Fund's list as one of the 200 most important objects that need to be preserved for posterity.
The amount of rainfall in the taiga during the year is small: from 200 to 1000 mm per year, depending on the region, but this moisture stagnates, which leads to the formation of large numbers of wetlands and lakes.
The climate characteristics of the taiga affect its flora. Frost-resistant species of trees and shrubs, such as Siberian spruce, fir, Siberian cedar and juniper, grow here.
By growing species of vegetation, the taiga is divided into zones: southern, middle and northern. Southern taiga has a greater variety of species than other zones. There is also a division of this natural zone into light-coniferous and dark-coniferous taiga.
Dark coniferous taiga
Dark coniferous forests grow where the moisture content is high, for example in the mountains. Representatives of dark coniferous forests are spruce, fir and Siberian cedar, but spruce forests prevail. Spruce taiga is a very shaded forest where only shade-tolerant plants can grow: mosses, low shrubs and grasses. In places of spruce forests with less fertile and more moist soil, blueberries grow, and on more fertile soils, blueberries grow.
Flora and fauna of the taiga are adapted to the peculiarities of the climate existing here. For example, in the spruce taiga almost no air movement. Therefore, there are no plants growing here that propagate with the help of seeds in the form of “parachutes”, but there are such plants whose seeds are small, like dust. It is a single-flower, winter-lover and wintergreen.
In addition, the plants in the fir grove multiply vegetatively with the help of underground or ground shoots, rapidly expanding to the side. To attract pollinating insects, most of the plants in the fir grove have white flowers. So, for example, kislitsy bloom, which allows them to stand out in the twilight.
Speaking of dark-coniferous taiga, it is impossible not to mention the Siberian cedar. This is one of the main tree species in this type of taiga. The duration of existence of the cedar reaches 800 years, and the nuts appear on this tree after 50 years of its life. Pine nuts are excellent food for people and various living creatures, and its wood is an excellent raw material for the manufacture of furniture and building structures.
Taiga light conifer
The characteristic of the taiga zone with light-coniferous plants makes it possible to understand the difference between this forest and the dark coniferous.In this taiga grow different types of pines and larches. The pine forest is very different from the spruce forest by the presence of a large amount of light, but the herbs here mostly grow the same as in the spruce forest.
On wet soils larch forests are located, which are even lighter than pine. Larch is a light-loving plant, therefore its lower branches falling into the shadow eventually die off, baring the trunks. A large amount of light contributes to the growth of a large number of species of various plants. Here you can already meet thickets of wild rosemary, blueberries, lingonberries, as well as some species of sedge.
Taiga - habitat of valuable breeds of animals
The description of the taiga of Russia includes the characteristics of its animal world. These are valuable breeds of animals such as sable, musk deer, Ussuri tiger and the owner of the taiga - a bear.
The sable is a subspecies of the weasel family. He is a small predator. The length of its body is 50-60 cm, of which 30 cm is the length of the tail. Sable is most common in cedar forests, as there livestock that feeds on cedar nuts. All this living creatures and sable. These are rodents, squirrels, hares and wood-grouses.But the sable itself loves to enjoy the fruits of cedar, as well as blueberries and mountain ash. This fur animal is valuable for its fur, so it is constantly being hunted. But it is rather difficult to track him down, as he has a wonderful sense of smell, he is very cunning, dexterous, and he climbs trees perfectly.
The Ussuri or Amur tiger is so named after its habitat - the Ussuri and Amur rivers. It is the largest subspecies of the cat tiger. The length of the male reaches 3.8 m with the tail, and the weight of 250-300 kg.
Each representative of the flora and fauna of taiga in its own way adapts to the harsh climatic conditions of this natural area. The Ussurian tiger, for example, is the only subspecies of the tiger that has a five-centimeter layer of fat on its belly that protects the animal during the winter season. In addition, his wool is much thicker than the wool of his relatives, living in more favorable conditions. In winter, its coat is orange and its belly is white. The tiger is a predator that feeds on roe deer, wild boars, deer, but can eat fish, birds, mice and frogs. In one day, the tiger needs to eat 9-10 kg of meat. The tiger has its own territory, when meeting the relatives send each other welcome signals.
Reindeer - a representative of the deer family.Only in this kind of reindeer horns have both males and females. The deer that live in the taiga are higher than their relatives living in the tundra, as they have to navigate through deeper snow. This is due to the climate, geographic location of the taiga and the adaptability of this deer species to the existing conditions.
The deer is the helper of a person living in the harsh conditions of taiga and tundra. A man eats reindeer meat, makes clothes from the skin and warms the house with it. These animals are used to get milk, they also serve as transport.
Life on our planet can exist only within the biosphere, the state of which is influenced by taiga. It is this natural zone that supplies oxygen to the atmosphere and replenishes it with moisture. Taiga also regulates the water balance of nearby water bodies and is a filter for air purification. In Russia, the taiga is a source of fur trade, the most valuable timber and a huge amount of minerals.