What is a boreal coniferous forest? Definition:
Of the Boreale coniferous forest is the most northern vegetation zone where trees grow. This type of coniferous forests runs like a belt over almost the entire northern hemisphere. The word "boreal" comes from the Latin language (Latin borealis) and means "northern". Often the term for the vegetation zone is also used taiga (Russian for marshy / swamp area) as in the warmer summer months the permafrost hard surface temporarily thaws.
In the coniferous forests, due to the cold and at the same time dry conditions, there is only a very small botanical biodiversity. Boreale coniferous forests are often characterized by spruce, pine or fir, more rarely by larch and yew. Most undemanding herbs, shrubs and mosses dominate the landscape on the forest floor.
Coniferous trees are optimally adapted to the conditions in cold climates. At temperatures below 0 ° C, the water freezes in the soil, so that trees can no longer absorb water from their roots. However, in contrast to leaves (see comparison needle leaf and leaf) needles lose very little water because of their smaller surface. The waxy layer of the cuticle also protects against damage to the leaves of the needle.
Boreale coniferous forests cover nearly 10% of the earth's surface. In the northern hemisphere over Alaska, Canada and Russia, the so-called Boreale coniferous forest belt extends. Depending on the region, the average annual temperature here is between -5 and + 5 ° C, with clear deviations up and down (-30 ° C in the winter months to + 20 ° C in the summer months). Little precipitation, long cold phases, low solar radiation and temporary permafrost soil lead to very slow plant growth. For this reason, coniferous forests usually need between 200 and 500 years before reaching a growth height of 25 meters and more.