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Coniferous Forests – Characteristics, Distribution and Facts

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Coniferous Forests- The coniferous forest biome is also referred to as taiga or boreal forest and this sort of forest is mostly characterized based on the presence of coniferous trees, which include pines, spruces, and firs. They are mostly found in the northern hemisphere, at higher latitudes and altitudes, in areas that are characterized by long and cold winters and shorter summer seasons. They are found throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.

Coniferous-Forests

Coniferous Forests

Characteristics of Coniferous Forests

As compared to tropical rainforests, coniferous forests are more consistent and also have moderate density. Coniferous forests are characterized by straight, tall-growing trees and are mostly universally evergreen. There is no annual replacement of leaves and for up to 5 years same leaves persist. Conifers are shaped like cones and their slope branches and conical shape avoid accumulation of snow. The soil of coniferous forests is weak and quite acidic and leached overtly.

High-elevation areas like mountains have the presence of coniferous forests. However, even coniferous cannot sustain in extreme slopes.

Distribution of Coniferous Forests

Coniferous forests are situated between temperate deciduous woods in the south and tundra in the north. They are found in the following places majorly:

North America

They are found in North America from Labrador on the east coast to Alaska on the west coast and area is for about 2000 kilometer from north to south and 11 percent of the coniferous forests is found in America and 24 percent is found in Canada.

Asia and Europe

From Siberia to Scandinavia, coniferous forests cover most of Europe as well as Asia. Asia consists largest portion of the forest at around 3000 kilometers, 58 percent of Russia is covered by coniferous forests and 4 percent of Sweden, Finland and Norway, and 3 percent of China and Mongolia.

Fauna of Coniferous Forests

Coniferous forests is home to various herbivores which includes moose, caribou, deer, elk, hare etc. Herbivores have developed hibernation qualities due to which they can survive in harsh conditions and temperatures. Carnivores such as fox, lynx, black bear, otter, shrews etc. can also be found.

In birds, some of the important creatures which can be seen include cranes, ducks, goshawks, great horned owls, ospreys etc.

Economic Importance of Coniferous Forests

Economic importance of coniferous forests is that it is source of world’s largest timber and also pulp production. They grow fast and hence have good properties of wood, and are ideal for timber. Coniferous forests are known for their use as pulp in production of paper and also as Christmas tree. Some conifers are also edible like pine nutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which forest is known as coniferous?

The norther Eurasian coniferous forest are known as taiga or boreal forests. They describe circumpolar coniferous forests with many lakes, and rivers.

Where is the coniferous trees?

Coniferous trees are found in higher latitudes in Northern Hemisphere through the boreal forests of Europe, Asia and North America.

Why some forests are called coniferous ?

Some forests are known as coniferous forests as the trees are conical in shape, which allows snow in winter to slide down easily.

Where is the biggest coniferous forest?

Biggest coniferous forest is in Russia.


Last Updated : 14 Dec, 2023
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