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Word Count: 439
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 US 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 taigaFirst of all the soil is nutrient poor thin and acidicPodzolization 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 thereThere 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 pineoccur 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
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