What is the difference between Taiga and Tundra?

Both terms start with a “t” and are of Russian origin! For the rest, they are two different natural environments, although geographically close.

The tundra is a geographic area on which bare vegetation of grasses, sedges, lichens, mosses and shrubs grows. Located mainly on the coast of the extreme north of the American continent and Eurasia, it is also found on the islands of the seas of the Antarctic continent and its coasts. It is the last line of vegetation before the ice landscapes and is itself covered with snow during the long polar winters. If this vegetation is adapted to the polar cold, there is also an alpine tundra in the high mountains where the low temperatures are due to the altitude. The tundra represents an area of ​​8 million square kilometers, or about 6% of the land area.

The taiga, also known as the boreal or Hudsonian forest, is concentrated in the northern hemisphere (Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, Finland, Russia, northern Japan), south of the tundra. It alone accounts for 10% of the land area and is the largest forest area on the planet (just over 15 million square kilometers). These immense coniferous forests (larch, spruce, pine and fir) and broadleaved (birch, willow, poplar and mountain ash) are irrigated by an extensive lacustrine network resulting from glaciofluvial erosion. These regions have a very rich fauna and flora and are inhabited by the peoples of the far north: Sami and Komis in Europe, Samoyeds and Tungus in Siberia, Ainu in Japan, Algonquians and Dene in America.

It is finally the geographical zone situated between 65 ° and 75 ° of northern latitude where the northern (or polar) auroras occur, luminous phenomena of colored sails in the night sky. If these extraordinary landscapes make you dream, it may be for you the moment to immerse yourself in the novels of Jack London or … to go on vacation! You may also visit Difference Betweenz to learn more about the Difference between such similar terms and objects, which confuses us a lot.