Coniferous forests are also known as Taiga, the Siberian or the cold Temperate Central Type.
Coniferous forests are located between 55° North and 70° North latitudes.
In North America, coniferous forests are distributed over the parts of southern Alaska and Canada.
In Eurasia, these forests cover parts of Scandinavian countries and, Russia from Baltic to Pacific coast.
Coniferous forest experiences the extreme continental climate, which is marked by cool and short summers, extremely cold and long winters, and low precipitation.
These forests are not present in the Southern Hemisphere. It is due to narrow shape of the continent at this latitude that is influenced by the sea.
Vegetation of coniferous forests is dominated by conical trees. These forests have evergreen trees that do not shed their leaves.
Important trees are fir, pine, larch, spruce, hemlock, and cedar. These trees can survive in this climatic region due to many adaptations. These trees yield softwood used by various industries.
Wild life is limited due to severely cold winter and food shortage. Strong animals are found here, who have short ears and tails, and thick body fur. Birds migrate to warmer areas during winters. Large sized animals are found, because large size limits heat loss from the body. Important large animals found in this region are caribou, moose, elk, and grizzly bear.
Important small animals found in this region are hares, weasels, squirrels, sable, ermine, and raccoon.
This region is sparsely populated due to harsh climatic conditions. The North American Coniferous forests are largely inhabited by Native Americans like Beaver and Cree tribes.
Population consists of Native Americans and Siberians.
Large numbers of people are now moving to settle in the Taiga region due to development of resources and industrialization.
Lumbering is an important activity in the region and is pursued during the winter season.
Coniferous forest covers 60% of the total area of Canada. We will now study about the Lumber industry in Canada that developed because of coniferous forests.