The taiga is the jungle type characteristic of Siberia and of northern russia , which borders the steppe (to the south) and the tundra (to the north). This biome is formed by conifers and presents an icy subsoil. With very specific exceptions, this term is often used as a synonym for boreal forest.
The taiga can be confused with coniferous forests or the Russian boreal forests . In Canada there is talk of boreal forest to name the southern region of ecosystem , leaving the notion of taiga to refer only to the vegetation closest to the Arctic .
The taiga is an ecosystem that, in general, is little altered by human action since the soils are not suitable for the development of the farming , and the weather It exhibits extreme conditions. Logging and hunting of mammals cause the greatest damage to this biome.
The average temperature of the taiga is between 0ºC and the 5ºC . The winter, obviously colder, is usually short. Rainfall in the taiga is scarce: between 160 and 320 millimeters per year . It is usual that, due to the weather, the water remains frozen for several months.
As for the fauna, the predominant animals in the taiga are the wolf, the fox, the bear Brown, reindeer and elk. Birds often migrate to warmer latitudes during winter. It should be noted that many taiga animals hibernate for several months. The abundant reserves of fat and dense fur facilitate the life of mammals in these regions with very cold weather.
The taiga and the weather
The numerous debates about forest protection revolve around unfortunate pictures of huge trees collapsing in tropical areas, but in temperate and low-temperature regions, forests also meet a role fundamental for climate conservation.
The taiga represents more than a third of the forest area of our planet, and about 60% of these forests are situated on Russian soil; It is alarming to know that less than 3% of them enjoy effective protection. For this reason, the international organization called Taiga Rescue Network He does his best to help Russian environmental groups in their fight to prevent indiscriminate and large-scale logging. It is worth mentioning that many inhabitants of the areas near the forests collaborate actively and with the mere interest of preserving the boreal forests.
A report of interest ecological written by the Rescue Network ensures that the taiga represents a key element for the climate, which can directly affect it given its sensitivity to changes and its extension.
In the Scandinavian countries and in Canada, the taiga is threatened by the wood industry and the growing urbanization of green areas. The controversial Greenpeace claims to be working for several years in the north of the American continent and in Finland to stop or at least reduce the volume of deforestation associated with the production of paper.
The boreal forests, in their natural state, are beneficial for the carbon storage and they are also more global warming resistant; when the action of man removes the strongest trees from the biome, just the opposite occurs, and the entire planet suffers the consequences.
The most alarming problem is the thaw of the cap of soil known as permafrost, which should always remain frozen. Above it lies most of the boreal forests, and over several millennia it has stored greenhouse gases that should not be released into the atmosphere.