Taiga (SAMPA /taIg@/, from Russian), called boreal forest in Canada, is a biome characterized by its coniferous forests.
It is a northern subarctic and humid biogeographic region in which the main plant life is coniferous evergreen spruces and firs, which are adapted to the cold climate. Bogs and their associated plants are also common in this zone (see muskeg), which covers most of inland Canada and northern Russia.
It is the most northerly zone in which species which need some trees can survive. A considerable number of birds such as Siberian Thrush, White's Thrush and Dark-throated Thrush migrate to this habitat to take advantage of the long summer days and abundant insect food in that season.
Some seed-eating birds and large omnivorous birds that can take live prey or carrion will also maintain a presence in this zone in winter. They include Crossbill, Golden Eagle, Raven and Rough-legged Buzzard
Relatively few mammals can cope with the harsh winters. Those that can include Elk, Lynx, Beaver, Snowshoe Hare, Lemming, Caribou and several members of the weasel family such as Wolverine and Pine Marten.
Soil of taiga is very acidic due to the vegetation. When needles that have fallen from conifers decompose, they secrete an acid that helps prevent plants other than conifers from growing there. This acidic soil also comes when evergreen trees are planted in other biomes, such as temperate deciduous forests, slowing the rate at which the area returns to its natural state.
Precipitation is about 40-85cm/yr. in fog, snow and rain.
Compare with tundra.