Home

Physical Geography
  Tectonics and Geology
  Climatic Change
  Climate at Present and in the Past
  Soils
  Rivers, Lakes, Seas and Wetlands
  Permafrost
  Biodiversity

Biomes & Regions
  Arctic Environments
  Boreal Forests
  Mixed and Deciduous Forests
  Steppe and Forest-steppe
  Arid Environments
  The Mountains of Northern Russia
  The Mountains of Southern Siberia
  The Caucasus
  The Mountains of Central Asia
  Lake Baikal
  The Far East

Environmental Problems
  Radioactive Contamination
  Oil and Gas Development
  Air Pollution
  The Aral Sea Problems
  Deforestation and Degradation of Forests
  Nature Protection and Conservation

Images of Russian Nature
  Geographic Index
  Systematic Index
  Alphabetical Index

Nature Reserves
  Northern Russia
  Central Russia
  Povolzhye (Volga river basin)
  Southern Russia
  Ural Mountains
  Western Siberia
  Eastern Siberia
  Far East


Фотографии природы России
  Географический каталог
  Систематический каталог
  Алфавитный каталог


Nature Landscapes of the World
  Europe
  Asia
  North America
  South America
  Africa
  Australia
  Antarctic

Field Ecology Education
  Instructive Videos
  Instructive Manuals


Share this page with your friends:



( ) : : = = + +


Russian Nature

Home | Physical Geography | Biomes & Regions | Environmental Problems | Images of Russian Nature | Nature Reserves


Please put an active hyperlink to our site (www.rusnature.info) when you copy the materials from this page

Biomes and Regions of Northern Eurasia

Boreal Forests

<<< Arctic Environment: Environmental Changes in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene | Biomes & Regions Index | The Principal Forest-forming Species and their Ecology >>>

Introduction

Boreal coniferous forests have a circumpolar position and occur on three continents: Europe, Asia, and North America. In the countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU), coniferous forests occupy about 530 million hectares. They comprise about 21 per cent of all wooded lands on the globe and account for 5 3 per cent of all coniferous forests. Within the boreal forests, three structural divisions are recognized:

1. Forest-tundra ecotone, which occurs north of the Arctic tree line. It is represented by prostrate woodlands and individual trees scattered across the tundra. Biota of the forest-tundra ecotone is very similar to that of southern tundra (see above) and the difference between the two zones is in the absence of trees from zonal communities in southern tundra.

2. Open or sparse forests develop further south. Trees grow about a dozen meters from each other and often form regular patterns (Plate 9.1).

Open larch forests in Central Siberia

Plate 9.1 Open larch forests in Central Siberia (photo: courtesy of M. Kuznetsov)

3. Close forests are composed of continuous stands of trees.

The boreal forests of Northern Eurasia are known as taiga. Originally this term was used to describe the dark coniferous forests formed by spruce, fir, and Siberian pine (termed the 'dark taiga' species). However, in a broader sense the vast forests of Central and Eastern Siberia and the Pacific sector formed by larch and pine are also referred to as taiga or 'light taiga'. In the south, taiga is succeeded by the mixed coniferous and broad-leaved deciduous forests in the European territory and the Far East. In Western and Central Siberia, where the development of broad-leaved forests is limited by increasing aridity, a narrow zone of birch and aspen forests separates coniferous forests from the wooded steppe, while in Eastern Siberia coniferous forests border directly on the forest-steppes.

<<< Arctic Environment: Environmental Changes in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene | Biomes & Regions Index | The Principal Forest-forming Species and their Ecology >>>

 

 


Recommend this page to your friends:


* * | |