What is a Coniferous Forest
Any forest primarily occupied by evergreen conifers or needle-leaf cone-bearing trees can be considered a coniferous forest. Pines, firs, and cedars are a few examples of the trees characteristically found in such forests. Though they can be found in various parts of the world, the taiga or boreal forest, often considered the largest terrestrial biome, is home to one of the most extensive coniferous forests.
There are two main types of coniferous forests – the taiga biome and the temperate coniferous forest. The largest stretch is found in the cold taiga regions of the northern hemisphere, in an unbroken belt extending from the northern regions of Asia and Europe to the northern United States, Canada, and Alaska.
As the name suggests, the temperate coniferous forests are located in the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America, in countries like the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, France, China, India, the United States, and Canada.
Another type, the tropical coniferous forest, grows in the tropical regions in North and Central America and Asia.
Climate in These Regions
The temperature and overall climate of a coniferous forest would vary depending on where it is located. The boreal forests remain cold all year with long winters, while the temperate forests see much milder climates. Though the winters are milder, the temperatures in these forests are less variable than in temperate regions in general. The tropical Coniferous forests are characterized by much warmer temperatures.
|Summer Temperature||Winter Temperature||
|Tundra (Boreal Forest)||50°F to 68°F (10°C to 20°C)||-10°F to -40°F (-20°C to -40°C)||15-25 cm (6-10 inches – mainly in the form of snowfall)|
|Temperate Coniferous Forest||68°F to 86°F (20°C to 30°C)||23°F to 50°F (-5°C to 10°C)||50-200 cm (20-80 inches)|
|Tropical Coniferous Forest||75°F to 84°F (24°C to 29°C)||59°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C)||150-400 cm (60-160 inches)|
Abundance of Flora and Fauna
Birds like woodpeckers, crossbills, tits, hawks, and owls are among the permanent residents of the coniferous forests, while various migratory birds, such as warblers, arrive at the beginning of spring.
The dense forest areas with humid conditions are home to countless species of beetles, ants, caterpillars, and sawflies.
- These forests boast many redwood species, including the giant Sequoia – the largest and longest-living life form in the world.
- Conifers are considered to be the primary source of the commercial softwood timber required for the production of paper.
- The Pacific temperate rainforests in the Pacific Northwest regions of North America are predominantly occupied by coniferous trees.