Coniferous Forest Alaskan Interior - Yukon Lowlands

Climate of the Alaskan Taiga

Average Rainfall: 550mm to 250mm, falling to 170mm in the upper Yukon flats

Average Temperature: Max - range from 17°C to 22°C in the summer. Min - range from -35°C to -18°C in the winter

The climate of coniferous forests tend to have long winters and short summers. The average low temps require plants and animals to be adaptive to long periods of cold.

Graph of average rainfall and temperature for coniferous forests

Net Primary Productivity

The net primary productivity for coniferous forests average around 3500 kilocalories/m²/year; compared to the 6000 kilocalories/m²/year of deciduous forests, or the 9000 kilocalories/m²/year of tropical rainforests. Boreal (coniferous) forests are usually found in the northern hemisphere between 50° and 70° latitude.

Soil Quality

The soil of boreal forests tend to be very poor in nutrients. This is due to the cold being a hinderance the development of the soil and prevents plants from using its nutrients. Acids from the needles of evergreens leech into the soil and create podzol.

Invasive and Endangered

Gypsy Moth

Invasive species to Alaskan taiga. Can be found in southern europe, north Africa, along with central and southern Asia. Accidently spread due to larvae being able to attach to animals, vehicles, construction materials and the wind. In large numbers, larvae destroy leaves thus killing trees and removing habitats for animals.

Wood Bison

A once extinct (by location) species that is now listed as endangered due to it being reintroduced into the area. The species was thought to be near extinct due to over hunting and the subspecies was expected to be hybridized by mixing with the bison of the great plains.

Animals of the Taiga

Gray Wolf

Adaptations: Has insulated fur to keep in warmth. Padded paws to keep traction in the snow.

Snowshoe Rabbit

Padded and webbed back feet that act as snowshoes. Changes color of fur to match environment to protect from predators.

Long-eared Owl

Have an ear that is 50% larger than the other to have '3-Dimensional' hearing to find prey in the dark.

Plants of the Taiga

Black Spruce

Has rough bark, layered twigs, and waxy needles to help protect it from the cold and predators.

Balsam Fir

Winged seeds to allow for the seeds to be carried away by the wind to over 500ft away from the parent.

Siberian Spruce

The conical shape allows for easier shedding of snow to limit branch loss. Dark green color to absorb maximum heat and start photosynthesis sooner. Thin needles to prevent water loss.

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