Written by Tadashi

Modified & Updated: 25 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

River Flowing Through a Valley in Boreal Forest, Alaska, USA

Taiga biomes are found across the globe on three separate continents. Many different species make their home in the biome. The taiga also plays various other roles in the Earth’s ecosystem. Learn more about those roles and the threats facing the taiga with these 50 facts about taiga biomes.

  1. The taiga includes an estimated 17 million km² or 11.5% of the Earth’s land area.
  2. The taiga’s average daily temperature typically varies between -5 and 5°C.
  3. In winter, temperatures in the taiga can drop as low as -50°C.
  4. Growing seasons in the taiga only average around 130 days per year.
  5. The Finnish and Scandinavian taiga have some of the longer growing seasons, averaging at most 150 days per year.
  1. Scientists think that the taiga biome has only recently developed in geological terms, over the last 12,000 years of the Holocene Epoch.
  2. The term “taiga” originally referred to the forest regions of Siberia and Northern Russia.
  3. It also has similar meanings in the Mongolian and Turkish languages.
  4. Most sources have since applied the term to the biome between the tundra and the temperate forest.
  5. American and Canadian sources alternatively refer to this biome as the boreal forest or snow forest.
  6. Scientists describe it as the world’s largest land biome.
  7. In North America, the taiga includes most of Alaska, Canada, and parts of the Northern USA.
  8. In Europe, the taiga includes most of Sweden and Finland, along with large parts of Russia, Norway, and Estonia.
  9. The European taiga also includes parts of Scotland and even Iceland.
  10. In Asia, the taiga includes Northern Kazakhstan, Northern Mongolia, and the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
  1. Larches, pines, and spruces make up most of the forests in the Russian taiga.
  2. Larches, however, dominate the forests in the East Siberian taiga.
  3. Spruces similarly dominate the forests in the North American taiga.
  4. Pines and spruces coexist with birches in the Finnish and Scandinavian taiga.
  5. The taiga today covers land considered mammoth steppe during the last Ice Age.
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