Coniferous forest - ecosystem, Biology

Coniferous forest - Ecosystem

Cold regions with high rainfall and strongly seasonal climates with long winters and fairly short summers are characterised by boreal coniferous forest which is transcontinental. For example, adjacent to Tundra regions either at latitude or high altitude is the northern coniferous forest, which stretches across both north America and Eurasia just south of Tundra (i.e. Canada, Sweden, Finland and Siberia). The term taiga is applied to the northern range of coniferous forests.

This is characterised by evergreen plant species such as Spruce. (Picea glauca), fir (Abies balsamea ) and pine trees (Pinus resinosalPinus strobus) and by animals such as the lynx, wolf, bear, red fox, porcupine, squirrel, and amphibians like Hyla, Rana, etc. Boreal forest soils are thin podozols and are rather poor both because the weathering of rocks proceeds slowly in cold environments and because the litter derived from conifer needle is broken down very slowly and is not particularly rich in nutrients. These soils are acidic and are mineral deficient. This is due to movement of large amounts of water through the soil, without a significant counter upward movement of evaporation, essential soluble nutrients like calcium, nitrogen and potassium which are leached sometimes beyond the reach of roots. This process leaves no alkaline oriented cations to encounter the organic acids of the accumulating litter. The productivity and community stability of a boreal forest are lower then those of any other biome.

Posted Date: 1/19/2013 2:51:08 AM | Location : United States

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