The taiga is the largest land biome on earth, it covers some of Canada, Alaska, Europe, Asia, and most of Russia. The word "taiga" is Russian for the forest, but the word is used in the U.S. as well as Canada and some parts of Europe. The winters are cold, and the summers are wet and sometimes warm. The purpose of this paper is to describe the soil in the taiga.
First of all, the soil is nutrient poor, thin, and acidic Podzolization occurs as a result of the acid soil solution produced under needleleaf trees.
The main soil order associated with the taiga is spodosol. This means that only a certain amount of animals and plants can live there. There is usually only one or a few species of plants in a stand in a particular area. These include different species of spruce, pine, or fir, and often there is a little undergrowth. There may also occasionally be deciduous species present, such as oak, birch, willow, or alder, in a particularly wet or disturbed area.
Due to the soil changes in each area of the taiga, there are three main ecosystems; bogs occur in poorly drained, glacial depressions. Sphagnum moss forms a spongy mat over ponded water. Growing on this mat are species of the tundra such as cottongrass and shrubs of the heath family. Black spruce and larch ring the edge. Pine forests, in North America dominated by the jack pine,occur on sandy outwash plains and former dune areas.
These are low nutrient, droughty substrates not tolerated by spruce and fir. Larch forests claim the thin, waterlogged substrate in level areas underlain with permafrost. These forests are open with understories of shrubs, mosses and lichens.
Secondly, due to the limited abiotic species diversity, there is small biotic diversity. Animal populations are mainly seed-eating squirrels and jays, herbivores such as leaf eating insects and larger browsing animals such as deer, moose, elk, snowshoe hare, and beavers. The typical predators for this area are grizzly bears, wolves, lynxes and wolverines. Many have thick coats of fur to insulate against the cold, and some hibernate. In the Siberian taiga there are also Siberian tigers, but they are not very common due to diminishing numbers caused by poachers.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the soil make up of the taiga plays a big role in the abiotic and biotic species diversity. But this could all change due to contamination of the taigan soil by lumber companies and other industry, who knows how different a 9th grader's report on the taiga will be in twenty years?