Tundra and taiga are two natural zones that together occupy a good third of the continents of Eurasia and North America.
Tundra - it is a natural area characterized by an extremely low humus soil and very sparse vegetation.
Taiga is a natural zone characterized by the dominance of coniferous trees over other representatives of the plant community.
The tundra zone stretches like a ribbon across all the continents of the Northern Hemisphere. It runs a wide swath in North America and a narrower one in Eurasia, orienting itself or "relying" on the line of the Arctic Circle. On both continents, the tundra zone is located between the taiga zones and the arctic desert zone.
Taiga is located south of the tundra. The width of the taiga strip in North America is as impressive as the tundra zone, and in Eurasia the taiga strip is almost 2 times wider than the tundra zone.
The tundra zone is confined to the subarctic climatic zone. Average summer temperatures here range from 0 ° C to 15 ° C, and winters - from -5 ° C in the west to -45 ° C in the central and eastern parts of the continents. The amount of precipitation varies from west to east, but does not exceed 400 mm.
The taiga zone is confined to the northern part of the temperate climatic zone. Average summer temperatures in the taiga range from 5 ° C to 25 ° C, and winter temperatures range from 0 ° C in the west to -45 ° C in the central and eastern parts of the continents. The amount of precipitation varies from west to east, but does not exceed the limit of 600 mm.
Due to the harsh climatic conditions, tundra-gley and peaty soils with a minimum amount of humus have formed in the tundra. A significant part of the tundra is located in the permafrost zone, so no soil is formed there. This is a rocky tundra.
The taiga climate allowed the formation of relatively more fertile podzolic soils.
On very sparse soils, in conditions of permafrost and short-term, only three months, the period of spring-summer-autumn, only mosses and lichens grow well in the tundra, as well as low grasses and dwarf, shrub-like willows and birches...
In the taiga, in better quality conditions and on more fertile soils, light coniferous (pine, cedar) and dark coniferous (spruce, larch) forests grow. Both subspecies of taiga are distinguished by sparse undergrowth and uniform, species-poor grass-moss cover. Maples, beeches, oaks, birches and chestnuts grow alongside conifers in the North American taiga.
The tundra is inhabited mainly by reindeer and caribou, polar foxes and wolves, bighorn sheep, lemmings, hares, polar foxes, grouse and snowy owls.
Taiga has become a reliable home for red deer, elk, roe deer, bears, wolves, wolverines, lynxes, wood grouses, hazel grouses, crossbills, possums, porcupines, skunks and a huge number of fur-bearing animals.
The tundra is used by humans only as a landfill for the extraction of fuel resources, as well as ores of valuable metals. Recovers slowly and suffers heavily from human presence.
Taiga is used as a source of wood, furs, berries and mushrooms, but it is easily and quickly restored.
- Tundra is located to the north, taiga - to the south.
- The tundra stretches almost along both continents of the Northern Hemisphere, and the taiga is interrupted by zones of altitudinal zonation.
- The tundra is a subarctic climatic zone, and the taiga is temperate.
- In the tundra it is colder and drier, in the taiga it is relatively warmer and more humid.
- Taiga soils are more fertile than tundra soils.
- Taiga is a global kingdom of trees, tundra is mosses, lichens, grasses and dwarf trees.
- Both zones are distinguished by different economic uses of their territories by humans, as well as the speed with which they recover from the exploitation of their resources.