15 Interesting Taiga Facts for Kids 2023 [Taiga Forest Facts]
Taiga is a cold forest that is in the subarctic region. The Taiga forest is covered with snow most of the time. Russia has the world’s largest Taiga, around 5,800 kilometers in total. Taiga forest is also called boreal forest or snow forest. It extends from Europe, Asia, and North America.
Taiga is named after the Greek God of the wind, Boreas. It covers 29% of the total world’s forest and 20 million hectares of land. A Taiga is of two types: Open woodlands that have much space between trees and dense forests, where the land hardly receives any sunlight. Read on to know more about Taiga facts.
Details and overview about Taiga:
- Taiga Biome: Taiga comes from a Russian word for the marshy pine forest. Biome means the area dense with flora and fauna, which is why the Taiga forest is the world’s largest land biome. Taiga has a cold climate and low precipitation (rain and snow) rate. It is believed that the Boreal forest existed 12,000 years ago. Taiga is used to describe barren lands.
- Location: The forests that fall under the region of Mat-Su Valley are known as Taigas. Taiga forests are located mostly between the north latitude and the Arctic circle region. To be more specific, the Boreal forest covers northern Russia and Siberia, and the next area is northern Canada and Alaska. The Boreal forest are found only in the northern hemisphere because, in the southern hemisphere, there is not a sufficient amount of landmass.
- The Climate of Taiga: The Taiga has very unique weather compared to most of the forests in the world. The summer season of the Taiga forest lasts only for 50 to 100 days without any frost. The daylight in the summer lasts up to 20 hours in a day. It is very hard for humans to sustain in this Boreal forest because of the very harsh climate, mainly during the winters because the native animals of Taiga migrate to other places in the harsh cold.
- Average Temperature: The Taiga forest experiences a very harsh cold in winters. The temperature falls below the freezing point in cold winters. The lowest and highest recorded temperature in the winter season is -54 degrees centigrade and -1 degrees centigrade. The summers are short for the Taiga forest. The highest and lowest recorded temperatures are 21 degrees centigrade and -7 degrees centigrade during the summer season.
- Average Precipitation: As the Boreal forest has more winter months, the rainfall is low. The average annual rainfall is around 30 to 84 cm, around 33 inches. The rain falls mainly in the summer season as the sun melts all the snow captivated during the wintertime. In summers, the average precipitation is 10-20 inches, and this precipitation is in the form of rain. Whereas in winters, the average precipitation is 20-40 inches, and this precipitation is in the form of snow.
- Plants and Forest of Taiga: The most common type of trees found in the Taiga forests are coniferous trees. The coniferous trees have needle or scale-like leaves rather than the usual broad leaves. These needle leaves are dark in colour and are in the shape of a triangle, helping them in absorbing more sunlight during the cold winter days and even helping to prevent them from freezing.
The other unique feature of these needle leaves is that they have the capacity to store water in them. The only plant that can sustain even in the coldest weather in the northern region is larch.
In the colder regions of the Boreal forest beneath the soil, a layer of permanently frozen soil is present, called permafrost. In normal regions, the bedrock layer is present beneath the soil. Both of these soil layers protect the upper layers of soil from drying and damage during harsh weather.
Mushrooms, lichens, and mosses are the main grown plants in the Taiga forest as they need very little water and can grow when there is high snowfall. The other famous types of trees found in the Taiga forest are pines, oak, maple, and elm trees.
The famously known plants of the Taiga forest are fire lilies, winter greens, berries, balsam fires, pink lady’s slippers, etc. Almost every unique or beautiful tree and plant seen in this world comes from this Boreal forest.
- Animals of Taiga: All types of animals can be found in the Taiga forest. During the long winter seasons, most of the animals migrate to the southern region for better temperatures to consume more food. Moose, which belong to the deer category, can live in the cold Taiga and are herbivores.
Bears and lynx are the predatory animals found in this Taiga forest. The Siberian Tiger, which is the largest cat globally, is a native species of the Taiga forest. The Siberian tigers hunt moose and wild bears mostly. The animals of the Taiga biome have feet that spread like snowshoes, helping the animals not to get into the snow. Some typical animals of the Taiga forest are moose, deer, wolves, raccoons, foxes, owls, and hawks.
Some interesting Taiga Facts
- Fires or wildfires are seen as a common thing in the Taiga forest. These fires help to get rid of the trees that are old and damaged due to various reasons and provide a path of growth for other trees and small living microorganisms.
- As the forest is said to be known as the snow forest, there is a very little amount of rain predicted every year. The total rainfall predicted on an annual basis is 33 inches.
- The coniferous trees produce seeds in a cone shape. Because of their needle structure, the leaves never fall off, and they remain green throughout the year and will not dry out in the winter season. They are also called evergreen trees or coniferous evergreen tree.
- The growth in trees can only be seen during the summer season. Even in the summer season, they grow for about three months only.
- Soft timber wood, an important source for making paper, can only be seen in the Taiga forest. This soft timber wood can grow and sustain easily in the harsh cold of Taiga forest. There are 3 trillion trees in the Boreal forest alone.
- The temperatures of the Taiga forest can fall below -60 degrees Fahrenheit. In a year, seven months fall under cold winters, and the next three months are the only summertime seen in the Taiga biome.
- During these harsh winters season, the soil becomes very thin, so the roots of the trees will be very shallow. Shallow roots will uproot the tree very easily; that is why they grow to their fullest during the summer season, making the roots strong.
- Animals of the Taiga forest have different and unique features. Depending upon the season, the animals can change their colors, and most of the animals have thick fur and blubber, so they can stay alive under heavy cold days when there is no chance to migrate to other places.
- Humans’ logging and mining activities brought a lot of danger to the trees. When a tree is cut down in the Taiga forest, it will take a very long time to grow back or restore as the growing season for the trees in the Taiga forest is very low.
- Decades ago, the Taiga biome was entirely covered by glaciers. As the glaciers started to melt, cuts and depressions were left in this forest.
- A very unfamiliar fact about the Taiga forest is that it stores more amount of carbon gas when compared to the temperate and tropical forests in the world.
- The cold temperatures make the decomposition process slow in the Taiga forest, and the undecayed vegetation forms a layer on the ground that feels like a sponge. The decomposition process speeds up during summer seasons only as the streams or rivers melt and carry the nutrients required.
- When the Earth tilts on its axis, the Taiga forest will have long nights in winter and long days in summer.
- The typical growing season for Taiga forest is 130 days. When the days are warm with an average temperature of 10 C, the growing days are 50 to 70 days. When the average temperature is around +5 C in a day, the growing days will be 80 to 150 days maximum.
- The Christmas tree that is used all around the world comes from this or is an origin of the Taiga forest. The leaf of the Christmas trees is a perfect example of the needle structure of the trees in the Taiga forest.
With its abundance of green vegetation, the Taiga forest provides a lot of oxygen to the Earth by absorbing the carbon dioxide released by humans and helps maintain the ozone layer. But the activities done by humans like deforestation are completely ruining the structure of the Taiga forest.
Once a tree is damaged or cut off, it will take quite a long time to grow back as the growing scope in the Taiga biome is very slow. So, it is very important to save such natural forests by educating people about the losses they are bringing and should feel responsible and accountable for saving such forests.
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