Taiga Climate

Published: 12th May 2011
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Defining Taiga Climate

Basically, Taiga is a Russian phrase, which describes an open coniferous forest zone. It is also sometimes referred to as boreal forest. This type of land takes up a substantial part of the world’s forest areas. It is said to be at 27% in fact. Taiga climate consequently refers to the type of climate that exists in such boreal forests. Geographically speaking the largest boreal forests are situated in Russia and Canada. The climates in these areas are very low, as we shall describe in further detail hereunder.

The Type of Climate and the Effects on Vegetation

In technical terms, the climates found in these areas known as taiga or boreal forests, are also known as subarctic climates. These types of climates are featured with a rather significant change between one season and another. However, the most predominant type of climate which takes up a larger part of the year, is a long very and cold wintry climate.

The vegetation in a taiga climate manages to grow in a relatively difficult climate, but nonetheless it does spread and make the area look beautiful. One can in fact find deciduous trees in parts of the area. The taiga climate is also known for a relatively low level of precipitation. Moisture is in fact more present in terms of fog and snow, rather than rain. This obviously has an effect on the vegetation and its growth.

Some types of flora found in boreal forests include willows, birches, alder, and poplars. Taiga areas can be divided into two types mainly:

Areas where the trees are very close to one another. These often have a mossy type of ground. These areas are known as closed canopy forests.

Areas where the trees are spaced away from each other. The ground is often covered with lichen. These types of areas are referred to as sparse taiga or lichen woodland.

A significant part of areas where there is a taiga climate, experience glaciations during parts of the year. These in time end up forming lakes and bogs. In the latter there is also the formation of what is known as muskeg soil. This basically refers to a type of low lying marsh where one often finds a number of plants in varying states of growth and decomposition. This is especially due to the fact that beneath the muskeg there is water. These areas are also an ideal habitat for beavers.

The taiga climate is explained concisely yet precisely in the website of the Cambridge Encyclopaedia. This type of climate has its unique characteristics, which make it an interesting area of study in geographical and ecological related courses, as well as in the studies related to the weather and vegetation.

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