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Taiga (SAMPA /taIg@/, from Russian тайга́) is a biome characterized by its coniferous forests. In Canada, the term boreal forest is used to refer to the southern part of this biome; the term taiga is used to described the more barren northern areas south of the Arctic tree-line.

It is a northern subarctic and humid biogeographic region in which the main plant life is coniferous evergreen spruces and firs, which are adapted to the cold climate. Bogs and their associated plants are also common in this zone (see muskeg), which covers most of inland Canada and northern Russia.

It is the most northerly zone in which trees, and species which need them, can survive. A considerable number of birds such as Siberian Thrush, White's Thrush and Dark-throated Thrush migrate to this habitat to take advantage of the long summer days and abundant insect food in that season.

Some seed-eating birds and large omnivorous birds that can take live prey or carrion will also maintain a presence in this zone in winter. They include Crossbill, Golden Eagle, Raven and Rough-legged Buzzard

Relatively few mammals can cope with the harsh winters. Those that can include Moose, Lynx, Beaver, Snowshoe Hare, Lemming, Caribou and several members of the weasel family such as Wolverine and Pine Marten.

Soil of taiga is very acidic due to the vegetation. When needles that have fallen from conifers decompose, they secrete an acid that helps prevent plants other than conifers from growing there. This acidic soil also comes when evergreen trees are planted in other biomes, such as temperate deciduous forests, slowing the rate at which the area returns to its natural state.

Precipitation is about 40-85cm/yr. in fog, snow and rain.

Compare with tundra.

Boreal Forests/Taiga ecoregions

Nearctic ecozone
Alaska Peninsula montane taiga United States)
Central Canadian Shield forests (Canada, United States)
Cook Inlet taiga (United States)
Copper Plateau taiga (United States)
Eastern Canadian forests (Canada)
Eastern Canadian Shield taiga (Canada)
Interior Alaska-Yukon lowland taiga (Canada, United States)
Mid-Continental Canadian forests (Canada)
Midwestern Canadian Shield forests (Canada, United States)
Muskwa-Slave Lake forests (Canada)
Newfoundland Highland forests (Canada)
Northern Canadian Shield taiga (Canada)
Northern Cordillera forests (Canada)
Northwest Territories taiga (Canada)
South Avalon-Burin oceanic barrens (Canada)
Southern Hudson Bay taiga (Canada)
Yukon Interior dry forests (Canada)
Palearctic ecozone
East Siberian taiga (Russia)
Iceland boreal birch forests and alpine tundra (Iceland)
Kamchatka-Kurile meadows and sparse forests (Russia)
Kamchatka-Kurile taiga (Russia)
Northeast Siberian taiga (Russia)
Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga (Russia)
Sakhalin Island taiga (Russia)
Scandinavian and Russian taiga (Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden)
Trans-Baikal conifer forests (Mongolia, Russia)
Urals montane tundra and taiga (Russia)
West Siberian taiga (Russia)

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