What is the Coniferous Forest?
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What Does Coniferous forest Mean
We explain what the coniferous forest is, its location and what its flora and fauna are like. In addition, its climate and main characteristics.
What is the coniferous forest?
Coniferous forests are ecosystems that are characterized by having a climate that ranges from temperate to cold , abundant rainfall, but, above all, by the predominance of coniferous trees, with high altitudes (up to 100 meters). Among them are the pines, with their enormous variety of species .
In addition, cypress, cedar, spruce and fir trees are very common in this kind of forest. And to this is added the ferns and shrubs, which are also typical of this type of ecosystem . Now, coniferous trees are those that have cone-shaped seeds . In addition, they do not have fruits, but pine nuts.
In addition, the leaves of these trees are perennial and are characterized by having a needle shape . The qualities of these leaves allow them to last up to seven years, which is why the crown is renewed in stages, and not every year, as is the case with most species. In addition, they are leaves resistant to low temperatures , typical of certain forests in which it even snows every winter, in addition to rainfall.
Is that, the needle shape of the leaves makes their surface very sparse. This makes the snow barely accumulate, and without breaking them. In addition to this, it has a resin that prevents the loss of water . To this must be added another quality, typical of evergreens, and that is that the cells found on the outside work as antifreeze, ideal for low temperatures.
On the other hand, the pyramidal shape of the trees is also key to their survival : the branches make the snow slide, instead of accumulating, preserving it better. Lastly, their cone shape allows them to store nutrients in the roots.
See also: Deciduous forest
Location of coniferous forests
Forests, unlike other biomes , are found practically everywhere in the world. There is no continent that does not have territories like this, although, obviously, of different surfaces.
Coniferous forests are located in the northern hemisphere and it is the biome that occupies the largest percentage on planet Earth . Their low temperatures, which can reach up to -30 ° C , is due to the fact that they are located on rocky soils or near the mountains .
Fauna and flora of coniferous forests
When it comes to talking about the flora that grows in coniferous forests, it must first be noted that only those plants or trees that survive in soils containing an acid PH can develop there . This, as a consequence, becomes a conditioner for the animals . It is that they will only inhabit this type of habitat , within herbivores , those that can feed on these species.
Within the flora, some of the most common trees found there are:
- Spruces This type of tree, which has a pyramid shape, can measure up to 60 meters. Its leaves are flat and pointed. They are found in North America, Siberia, Asia Minor, Japan, and China, among others.
- Firs. This type of tree is found in Europe and can reach up to 100 meters. Its leaves are flattened and grow in a spiral way. Within the same tree you can find female and male flowers, so it is a monoecious tree.
- Larches The larches are only found in two countries in South America : Chile and Argentina. They are characterized by having a long life , and can measure up to 50 meters.
- Pine trees. There are more than 100 species of pines and they are found in the most varied areas. They grow in North America, Central America, South America, Sumatra, Europe, and more. These trees can not only have a pyramid-shaped crown, but also a rounded one.
Some animals that are usually found in this type of forest are hares, beavers, rabbits, as well as black bears, elk and porcupines. Also, there are birds such as eagles or foxes, snakes and frogs. There is also no lack of flies, mosquitoes or beetles.
Thus, there are four groups of animals that can be found there: birds, mammals , cold-blooded animals and insects.
Coniferous forest climate
The climate of coniferous forests is temperate or cold. Unlike other ecosystems, in these the seasons are very different from each other. This means that rains, snow or droughts abound for several months.
Winters are characterized by being cold . In some cases, they can reach up to - 40 ° C. In addition, in this season there are abundant rains and also snow. In summer , on the other hand, they have average temperatures of 10 ° C. And they are usually humid.
Regarding rainfall, these vary between 300 millimeters and 900 millimeters per year .
It can serve you: Temperate forest
Characteristics of coniferous forests
Coniferous forests are characterized by being located in North America , Europe and Asia , as well as in South America or Siberia .
Thus, this type of forest occupies a good part of Canada and Alaska, in North America, and a greater proportion even of Norway, Finland, Russia, Sweden, as well as Japan in Eurasia.
It is also a key ecosystem for economic life. It is that, for example, it is an indispensable source of raw materials for the timber industry . Also, its landscapes are very attractive, so many tourist activities revolve around these forests.
Due to the characteristics of these landscapes, it is very common for fires to occur . In any case, the trees that live there, such as pines, have a bark that, due to its thickness, manages to protect the wood. On the other hand, as the stems are covered with needles, this also protects them.