The coniferous forest is the largest biome that exists on earth. The coniferous forest biome is found in the northern parts of Asia , Europe, and North America . This important forest biome constitutes approximately one third of the forests that exist around the world.
What is the coniferous forest?
The coniferous forest is an ecosystem that is characteristic of places with temperate climates in which hot summers and cold winters occur , as well as enough rain to maintain its characteristic coniferous trees.
- Characteristics of the coniferous forest
- Coniferous forest climate
- Economic activity
- Importance of the coniferous forest
Characteristics of the coniferous forest
The main characteristics of coniferous forests are as follows:
- They present a marked seasonal difference .
- Conifers predominate in its vegetation , which are trees that have needle-like evergreen leaves.
- It is also common to find small shrubs , grasses , mosses , lichens , with an important layer of humus and fungi .
- It is located mainly in the northern hemisphere , where the boreal forest stands out.
- The coniferous forest is the most representative of cold climates .
- Hot summers and cold winters predominate .
- They have abundant precipitations that allow the development of a vegetation dominated by conifers and gymnosperm trees .
The fauna of this type of forest is associated with the stratification and the growth forms of plants and trees because the animals need to adapt to different diets depending on the seasons . Among the most common animals that we can find are:
The arthropods and most of them are associated to a single layer, but other passing between two or more layers. We can find spiders and different types of insects. We also find amphibians like frogs and toads.
The greatest diversity of animals occurs at ground level . For example, we can find mice, shrews, ground squirrels and wood salamanders.
We also find mammals such as deer and wild boars, which feed on grasses, shrubs and low trees; but there are also carnivores , such as the fox and the lynx. And we find tree species and species that go into hibernation during the winter, such as the bear.
The flora of the coniferous forest is characterized by the fact that its trees are very tall , such as pines and firs. The flora of these forests is based on trees of important heights such as spruces, firs, larches, pines, although we can also find some ferns and mosses . Thanks to the triangle shape that characterizes these trees, the falling snow does not accumulate as it slides down the branches.
The leaves of the trees of the coniferous forest are evergreen , but we can also find deciduous trees .
Coniferous forest climate
Coniferous forests thrive and grow in tropical and subtropical climates . This makes the climate in the area more humid . During the winter months, the precipitation falls as snow , while in the summer it falls as rain . The biome coniferous forest extending from Siberia to Canada and experience winters ice .
Its climate is quite humid and this is due to the low evaporation that occurs, it is cold and a lot of snow falls. This situation causes many animals to migrate to other places when the snow falls.
The climate is due to the fact that they are located in Asia , Europe and in the southern part of America . At the same time, the climate allows a great variety of animal and plant species .
The average temperature of the coniferous forest biome is 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The average temperature in winter is – 40 ° C to 20 ° C , while the average temperature of summer is 10 ° C . This biome experience long months of winter covered with snow and months hot and humid in summer .
Precipitation is significantly high in coniferous forest biomes . Average annual precipitation in coniferous rainforest biomes ranges from 300 to 900 mm . Some temperate coniferous forests get more than 2000 mm of rain per year. The total amount of precipitation received in this biome depends on its location . For example, in northern coniferous forests, winters tend to be long , cold, and relatively dry , while short summers tend to be moderately hot and humid.. In areas of lower latitudes, precipitation tends to be evenly distributed throughout the year. During the winter months , the precipitation falls as snow , while in the summer it falls as rain .
A type of coniferous forest called the northern coniferous forest is located at latitude 50 ° to 60 ° N. Another type known as temperate coniferous forest develops at lower altitudes in Asia , Europe, and North America in the upper mountain areas. Other subdivisions of the coniferous rain forest are located at different elevations , specifically, in Central America , in the Rocky Mountains, and in East Asia .
Coniferous forests are one of the most important suppliers of wood and pulp . A large number of compounds and active ingredients for application in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry are also produced .
Importance of the coniferous forest
The coniferous forest represents a very high value forest resource . They are used by man to obtain construction resources and resins to make different types of utensils, mainly furniture . It is a livelihood for thousands of vertebrate and invertebrate species and is the natural habitat of many other animals.
Some examples from the coniferous forest are:
- Sierra Nevada and the Cascades
- The Rocky Mountains
- The Wasatch Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cascade Mountains.