Characteristics and climate

Coniferous woodland is a biome found between 50° and 60° north of the equator and is characterised by evergreen coniferous trees with needles instead of leaves. It is also known as Taiga.

Typical trees include spruce, pine and fir. Animals commonly found in the region are reindeer, voles and hares.

World map showing taiga biome

At the most northern extent, summer temperatures rarely rise above 10°C. As you move further north, trees are shorter and less dense because of the shorter growing season. Winter temperatures can fall as low as minus 30°C. At its southern margins, the trees become taller and denser and merge with deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves). Temperatures here can rise as high as 20°C in the summer and can fall to minus 15°C in winter. Precipitation is 300–900 mm, and most falls as snow in winter.

Taiga climate graph showing monthly rainfall and temperature changesWorld Meteorological Organisation, 2013