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Coniferous Forests


CONIFEROUS FORESTS
Temperature
-40°C to 20°C, average summer temperature is 10°C
Precipitation
300 to 900 millimeters of rain per year
Location
The northern coniferous forests are called taiga or boreal forests. They cover vast areas of North America from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and range across northern Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and across Asia through Siberia and Mongolia to northern China and northern Japan.
Facts
Coniferous forest regions have cold, long, snowy winters, and warm, humid summers; well-defined seasons, at least four to six frost-free months

Description
Between the tundra to the north and the deciduous forest to the south lies the large area of coniferous forest. One type of coniferous forest, the northern boreal forest, is found in 50° to 60°N latitudes. Another type, temperate coniferous forests, grows in lower latitudes of North America, Europe, and Asia, in the high elevations of mountains.
Coniferous forests consist mostly of conifers, trees that grow needles instead of leaves, and cones instead of flowers. Conifers tend to be evergreen, that is, they bear needles all year long. These adaptations help conifers survive in areas that are very cold or dry. Some of the more common conifers are spruces, pines, and firs.
Precipitation in coniferous forests varies from 300 to 900 mm annually, with some temperate coniferous forests receiving up to 2,000 mm. The amount of precipitation depends on the forest location. In the northern boreal forests, the winters are long, cold and dry, while the short summers are moderately warm and moist. In the lower latitudes, precipitation is more evenly distributed throughout the year. Coniferous forests are made up mainly of cone-bearing or coniferous trees, such as spruces, hemlocks, pines and firs. The leaves of these trees are either small and needle-like or scale-like and most stay green all year around (evergreen). All are softwoods able to survive cold termperatures and acidic soi...

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