Forests play a huge role in human life. Recently, their number on Earth has been reduced by almost half. Man cuts down trees for his needs, not paying attention to what destroys the forest and all its inhabitants.
The most extensive forest zone of our planet and the richest source of oxygen is taiga. It extends south of the tundra over a large territory of Siberia and the Far East and stretches across almost the entire northern hemisphere. Taiga is in Finland and Canada. It occupies more than a third of all the forests of the planet.
Someone taiga may seem monotonous - some conifers, occasionally there are birches. In the vast space you can not find housing and roads. Only trees and swamps. Sometimes this forest looks dark and dark, because coniferous spreading trees obscure the light. Therefore, almost nothing grows in the lower tier, except for mosses and lichens.
Taiga plants are not very diverse. In the southern part of the zone, many relict species have survived, but some of them, due to man’s fault, are on the verge of extinction. For their preservation, the Cedar Span Reserve was created on the shores of the Amur Bay and the Ussuri Reserve.
The nature of the taiga forests in the south of Siberia is unusual and beautiful. They are somewhat reminiscent of the jungle due to the fact that taiga plants are located on several levels. There are even creepers in the taiga. This is actinidia. It is also called taiga grapes, and it is a relict plant. There is also lemongrass, which has a very strong unusual taste and is used in medicine. In this zone lives another plant, which is considered the best healer for many diseases in the world - it is ginseng. Animals also remain on the territory of the reserves. They are Amur leopard, Ussuri tiger, mandarin duck, Amur snake and many others.
The soils of the taiga are not very rich in humus and often frozen at depth. Winter in these lands lasts a very long time, and only coniferous plants, mainly cedar, fir and spruce, can survive, mosses and lichens grow on the soil, which often form a thick carpet. There is almost no underbrush in the taiga. A lot of precipitation falls out, which flush nutrients from the upper layer. These soils are also called podzol for their light color.
Siberian taiga supplies about 90% of all coniferous forest stocks. It even surpasses rain forests in its area. On its territory there are many swamps and various rivers and lakes. Taiga plants feed the inhabitants of the north. It is rich in berries and edible mushrooms, there are many small and large animals, and rivers and lakes are rich in fish.
Moose, deer, wolverines, beavers, bears and wolves are the most common inhabitants of taiga. There are also many fur-bearing animals (mink, sable, marten, ermine), which are exterminated because of their valuable fur.
The most valuable plant found only in the taiga is Siberian cedar. Furniture, pencils and musical instruments are made of its wood, nuts and juice are used in medicine, and cedar oil is also very useful. Other common taiga plants are pine, larch and fir. They are also used by man in traditional medicine.
If a person continues to cut down the forest uncontrollably, then soon there will be no places that enrich the entire planet with oxygen.
Mixed forests of Russia. Plants and animals of mixed forests. Soils of mixed forests
Broadleaf and mixed forests constitute a significantly smaller percentage of the forest zone of Russia than coniferous taiga. In Siberia, they are absent altogether. Broad-leaved and mixed forests are typical for the European part and the Far Eastern region of the Russian Federation. They are formed by deciduous and coniferous trees. They have not only a mixed composition of tree stands, but also differ in the diversity of the animal world, resistance to the negative effects of the environment, mosaic structure.
Types and layering of mixed forests
There are conifer-small-leaved and mixed-deciduous forests. The first grow mainly in continental areas. Mixed forests have a well-marked tiering (change in the composition of the flora, depending on the height). The topmost tier is high spruce, pine, and oak. Birch, maple, elm, linden, wild pear and apple trees, younger oak trees and others grow somewhat lower. Next come the lower trees: mountain ash, viburnum, etc. The next tier is formed by shrubs: viburnum, hazel, hawthorn, thickets of wild rose, raspberry and many others. Next come shrubs. At the very bottom are grasses, lichens and mosses.
Intermediate and indigenous forms of coniferous-small-leaved forest
An interesting feature is that mixed small-leaved arrays are considered only an intermediate stage of the formation of coniferous forest. However, they are also indigenous: arrays of stone birch (Kamchatka), birch groves in forest-steppes, aspen shrubs and waterlogged alders (south of the European part of the Russian Federation). Small-leaf forests are very light. This contributes to the turbulent growth of grass cover and its diversity. Coniferous mixed forests of broadleaf type, by contrast, refers to sustainable natural formations. It is common in the transitional zone between the taiga and broadleaf types. Coniferous-deciduous forests grow on the plains and on the lowest mountain belt with moderate and humid climatic conditions.
Zone of mixed and deciduous forests
Coniferous-deciduous forests grow in warmer regions of the temperate zone. They are distinguished by the diversity and richness of the grass cover. Grow intermittent stripes from the European part of the Russian Federation to the Far East. Their landscapes are favorable for people. To the south of the taiga is a zone of mixed forests. They are spread over the entire area of the East European Plain, as well as beyond the Urals (right up to the Amur Region). Solid zone does not form.
The approximate border of the European section of deciduous and mixed forests in the north lies at 57 °. sh. Above it, the oak tree (one of the key trees) almost completely disappears. The south almost comes into contact with the northern border of the forest-steppe, where the spruce completely disappears. This zone is a plot in the form of a triangle, two peaks of which are located in Russia (Yekaterinburg, St. Petersburg), and the third in Ukraine (Kiev). That is, as they move away from the main zone to the north, deciduous and mixed forests gradually disappear from the watershed. They prefer warmer and protected from icy winds river valleys with access to the surface of carbonate rocks. On them forests of deciduous and mixed type in small arrays gradually reach taiga.
The East European Plain basically has a low and flat relief, only occasionally there are elevations. Here are the sources, basins and watersheds of the largest Russian rivers: the Dnieper, Volga, Zapadnaya Dvina. On their floodplains, the meadows are interspersed with forests and arable land. In some regions of the lowlands, due to the close location of groundwater, as well as limited flow, in some places extremely swamped. There are also areas with sandy soils on which pine forests grow. Berry bushes and grasses grow in swamps and clearings. This area is most suitable for coniferous-deciduous forests.
Broad-leaved as well as mixed forests are exposed to various impacts from people for a long time. Therefore, many arrays have changed a lot: the native vegetation is either completely destroyed, or partially or completely replaced by secondary rocks. Now the remnants of deciduous forests that survived under tough anthropogenic pressure have a different structure of changes in the flora. Some species, having lost their place in indigenous communities, grow in anthropogenically disturbed habitats or occupy intrazone positions.
The climate of mixed forests is rather mild. It is characterized by relatively warm winters (on average from 0 to –16 °) and long summers (16–24 ° C) as compared with the taiga zone. The average annual rainfall is 500-1000 mm. It universally exceeds evaporation, which is a feature of a pronounced leaching water regime. Mixed forests have such a characteristic feature as a high level of grass cover development. Their biomass averages 2-3 thousand centners per hectare. The level of litter also exceeds the taiga biomass, however, due to the higher activity of microorganisms, the destruction of organic matter is much faster. Therefore, mixed forests have a smaller thickness and a greater level of decomposition of the litter than the taiga coniferous.
Soils of mixed forests
Soils of mixed forests are diverse. The cover has a rather variegated structure. On the territory of the East European Plain, the most common type is sod-podzolic soil. It is a southern variety of classical podzolic soils and is formed only in the presence of soil-forming loamy-type rocks. Sod-podzolic soil has the same profile structure and a similar structure. It differs from the podzolic litter with less massive litter (up to 5 cm), as well as with a more significant thickness of all horizons. And these are not the only differences. Sod-podzolic soils have a more pronounced humus horizon A1, which is under the litter. Its appearance differs from that of the podzolic soils. The upper part contains rhizomes of grass cover and forms turf. The horizon can be painted in various shades of gray and has a loose structure. The thickness of the layer - 5-20 cm, the proportion of humus - up to 4%. The upper part of the profile of these soils has an acid reaction. As it deepens, it becomes even smaller.
Soils of mixed-deciduous forests
Gray forest soils of mixed-deciduous forests are formed in the inland regions. In Russia, they are distributed from the European part to Transbaikalia. In such soil sediments penetrate deeper. However, the groundwater levels are often very deep. Therefore, wetting of the soil to their level is characteristic only in highly moistened areas.
Soils of mixed forests are better suited for farming than taiga substrates. In the southern regions of the European part of the Russian Federation, arable land accounts for up to 45% of the area. Towards the north and the taiga, the proportion of arable land is gradually decreasing. Farming in these regions is difficult due to severe leaching, marshiness and soil boulder. Good yields require a lot of fertilizer.
General characteristics of the fauna and flora
Plants and animals of mixed forests are very diverse. According to the species richness of flora and fauna, they are comparable only with the tropical jungle and are home to many predators and herbivores. Here, on high trees, squirrels and other animals grow roots, birds make nests on crowns, hares and foxes settle at the roots, and beavers live near the rivers. The species diversity of the mixed zone is very large. Both residents of taiga and deciduous forests and inhabitants of forest-steppe feel comfortable here. Some stay awake year-round, while others hibernate for the winter. Plants and animals of mixed forests have a symbiotic relationship. Many herbivores eat different berries, which are very numerous in mixed forests.
Mushrooms and berries
Berries are represented by blueberries, raspberries, lingonberries, cranberries, blackberries, bird cherry, strawberries, brute, elder, rowan, viburnum, wild rose, hawthorn. In the forests of this type there are a lot of edible mushrooms: aspen, white, valui, chanterelles, russules, wild mushrooms, milk mushrooms, boletus, waves, various rows, boletus mushrooms, bovines, small mushrooms and others. One of the most dangerous poisonous macromycetes are toadstools and pale toadstools.
The mixed forests of Russia abound in shrubs. Tier underbrush extraordinarily developed. Oak massifs are characterized by the presence of hazel, eosklet, wolf, and forest honeysuckle, and in the northern zone - buckthorn brittle. A wild rose grows on the edges and in the woodlands. In forests of coniferous-broadleaved type there are also liana-like plants: fresh fence, hop climbing, bittersweed.
A large species diversity, as well as a complex vertical structure, are grasses of mixed forests (especially coniferous-broadleaf type). The most typical and widely represented category is mesophilic nemoral plants. Among them are distinguished representatives of the widespread grass groves. These are plants in which the leaf plate has a considerable width. These include: a perennial perennial, snyt ordinary, medunitsy obscure, May lily of the valley, European gypsy, hairy sedge, yellow greenchuck, starling lanceolate, sovetnik (black and spring), violet amazing. The cereals are represented by bluegrass oakwood, gigantic fescue, forest reed pod, short-cutted pinnate, spreading pine forest and some others. The flat leaves of these plants are an option to adapt to the specific plant environment of coniferous-deciduous forests.
In addition to the above perennial species in the data arrays are also found herbs ephemeroid group. They transfer their growing season to springtime, when the lighting is maximum. After the snow melts, it is the ephemeroids that form a beautifully blooming carpet of yellow anemone and goose-onions, purple crested birds and lilac-bluish scilla. These plants go through the life cycle for a couple of weeks, and when the leaves of the trees bloom, their aerial parts die over time. They experience an unfavorable period under a layer of soil in the form of tubers, bulbs and rhizomes.
Plants and animals of deciduous forests :: SYL.ru
Broadleaf forests predominate in the northern hemisphere of the planet, but are also found in the regions of the southern hemisphere. Very often they coexist with the zone of mixed forests and have much in common with it. What are the characteristics of the flora and fauna of mixed and deciduous forests? We will talk about their main features in the article.
Geography of natural areas
Deciduous or summer green forests differ from other tree communities in the fall foliage. One of their varieties are deciduous forests. They are characterized by relatively large size of leaves, which is why they got their name. Such forests love light and heat, but are considered shade tolerant. They grow in humid areas of the temperate zone with a mild climate and an even distribution of precipitation during all seasons.
These forests are spread throughout Europe, except for the Mediterranean and Scandinavia, growing in Western and Central Ukraine, and a little in the western part of Russia. There they are represented mainly by beeches, oaks, a little less often - maples, ash trees, hornbeams, lindens and elms. The undergrowth is hazel, bird cherry, wild apple, buckthorn. In East Asia, deciduous forests are much richer than in Europe. They grow many types of grasses, shrubs, ferns, and lianas.
Oak-chestnut forests, hickory trees, oaks, maples, tulip trees, plane trees, and nuts are spread in the northeastern states of the United States and in southern Canada. In the southern hemisphere, evergreen species predominate and deciduous forests are extremely scarce. They are distributed mainly in Chile and the islands of New Zealand.
Mixed forests, in fact, are transitional between broad-leaved and coniferous, therefore they contain signs of both zones. They withstand colder conditions, located in regions with cool long winters and warm summers. They are distributed in the north of Europe, the south of the Scandinavian Peninsula, in the Far East and the plains of Siberia, in the Great Lakes region and California in the USA, in South America and New Zealand.
Within one region, plants and animals of deciduous forests have much in common with representatives of mixed communities. Zones often border each other and have a similar species composition. For example, in the mixed zone of Europe, the same oaks, beeches and maples grow, but pine, spruce, fir and other conifers coexist alongside them.
Wildlife of deciduous forests
Due to the presence of not only trees, but also shrubs, grasses, mosses, as well as a layer of falling foliage, in the forests of the temperate zone the long-haul is well pronounced. Thus, they create conditions for the dwelling of the most diverse forms of life.
The high bedding layer and the top layers of the soil are home to a huge number of invertebrates: deer beetles, barbel, earthworms, caterpillars, insect larvae, ticks, spiders. Birds nest in crowns and pillars of trees, live squirrels, lynxes, wild cats and various insects. The most populated are terrestrial longlines. Here animals of mixed and deciduous forests are represented by ungulates, large and medium-sized predators, various birds, amphibians and reptiles.
Для Северной Америки привычны такие обитатели, как дикие индейки, серые и черные белки, медведи барибалы, виргинские олени, канадские бобры, американские дрозды, славки, красноглазые виреоны, сурки, виргинские опоссумы. Животные широколиственных лесов России и Европы – это олени маралы, бурые медведи, лисицы, горностаи, барсуки, енотовидные собаки, лоси, зайцы, волки. В Южной Америке обитают пумы, пуду, чилийские кошки. In Asia and the Far East, typical animals of the zone of deciduous forests are wolverines, deer, raccoon dogs, red deer, Manchurian hares, gorals, and harzi. Red-book Amur tigers and Far Eastern leopards also live here.
The dangerous predator, the brown bear, inhabits North America, Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia and Siberia. This is the largest animal of deciduous forests. Its average weight is 300-400 kilograms, and the body length comes from 1.2 to 2 meters. The species consists of several geographic races that differ in color and size. The Siberian and European subspecies are widespread in temperate forests.
Yellowfish, or pine marten, lives mainly in Europe. She has a long and thick fur dark brown color. On the chest of the animal there is a light yellow spot, by which it is easy to distinguish it from other martens. The animal climbs trees perfectly, jumps up to 4 meters in length, easily keeping its balance. Forest martens live in hollows or abandoned nests of large birds, spending most of their life on trees.
In our deciduous forests, the animal skunk is not found, but for North America it is typical. It lives in burrows, which it digs itself with the help of long claws and powerful paws. The skunk climbs trees perfectly, but does not live on them. He has good hearing and smell, but his vision, as for a predator, is weak. He sees the animal no further than 3-4 meters.
It is difficult to confuse him with someone, because his appearance and habits are quite memorable. The skunk is painted black with two wide white stripes running from the head to the tip of the tail. With his coloring, he doesn’t even try to disguise himself in the forest, but, on the contrary, warns not to approach him. If the enemy gets too close, then the animal splashes on him a fragrant secret with the scent of rotten eggs.
Goral - a representative of the mountain forests of East Asia and the Far East. It lives on the Korean Peninsula, in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories of Russia, as well as in the northeastern regions of China.
This animal of deciduous forests looks like a goat covered with thick warm fur. It has a gray-brown color with a dark longitudinal stripe on the back and a white spot on the neck. His head is decorated with two small curved back horns. Gorals live in small groups or singly. They are not fighters, and in case of danger they begin to hiss and try to climb higher into the mountains.
Another exotic animal of deciduous forests is the Chilean cat, or codecode. The animal lives on the territory of Chile and Argentina, and is endemic to South America. It is the smallest representative of wild cats in the entire Western Hemisphere.
Codes also inhabit mixed and coniferous forests, inhabiting mainly at an altitude of 2000-2500 meters. They are slightly larger than ordinary domestic cats. The body weight of the code is usually less than 3 kilograms, and the length - 80 centimeters. Chilean cats have large and round eyes, rounded ears and a large tail, the length of which is almost half the length of the body. The entire torso of the code is colored auburn with dark spots on the back, sides and paws. There are dark streaks on the head and tail.
There are only two modern representatives of beavers - Canadian and ordinary, or river. The first inhabits most of North America, the second - Europe and Central Asia. Both species are found in deciduous forests and are among the largest rodents of the planet.
The beaver is a powerful squat animal, whose body length can reach 1.3 meters. It has short paws with swimming membranes between the fingers, a long paddle-shaped tail, covered with horny shields like scales. All its structure says that it spends a lot of time in water. He swims and dives perfectly, holding his breath for 10-15 minutes.
The main feature of these animals are strong teeth that can gnaw through a tree in one night. With the help of such a tool beavers build housing from decks and boughs. Their house is located right on the water and consists of a hut and a dam around it. The construction of a beaver can reach for a few hundred meters.
The common fox is the most habitual inhabitant of the temperate zone. It is distributed throughout Europe, in most parts of North America and Asia. The animal lives even on the northern outskirts of Africa. It inhabits tundra, desert and semi-desert, and, of course, deciduous and mixed forests.
The fox is a predator, but it can also eat plant food. It hunts small mammals, rodents, birds, snakes, eats eggs and young animals. Foxes living near major rivers often catch fish. So, animals living in Canada and in the northeast of Eurasia completely switch to the salmon diet during the spawning season.
Foxes live in burrows that dig themselves, or settle in abandoned dwellings of other inhabitants of the forest. They belong to the family of canines and have many habits that are characteristic of their "brothers".
Mixed and deciduous forests of Russia
Mixed forest is a territory in which deciduous and coniferous trees are harmoniously side by side. If the wood impurity is more than 5% of the total flora, we can already speak of a mixed type of forest.
Mixed forest forms a zone of coniferous-deciduous forests, and this is a whole natural area, characteristic of forests in the temperate zone. There are also conifer-small-leaved forests, which are formed in the taiga as a result of the restoration of previously cut down pines or spruce trees, which begin to displace different types of birch and aspen.
(Typical mixed forest)
Mixed forests are almost always in the south side by side with broad-leaved ones. In the northern hemisphere, they also border the taiga.
The following varieties of mixed forests in the temperate zone are distinguished:
- coniferous broad-leaved,
- secondary small-leaved with the addition of conifers and broad-leaved species,
- mixed, which is a combination of deciduous and evergreen rocks.
Subtropical mixed fox distinguishes a combination of laurel and conifers. Any mixed forest is distinguished by a pronounced long-haul, as well as the presence of areas without forest: the so-called Opoliev and woodlands.
Location of zones
Mixed forests as a combination of coniferous and broad-leaved species are found in the East European and West Siberian plains, as well as in the Carpathians, the Caucasus and the Far East.
In general, both mixed and deciduous forests occupy a not-so-large share of the forest territory of the Russian Federation as coniferous taiga. The fact is that in Siberia such ecosystems do not survive. They are traditional only for the European and Far Eastern regions and at the same time grow in broken lines. Pure mixed forests are found south of the taiga, as well as beyond the Urals to the Amur region.
Mixed-type forest plantations differ in cold, but not very long winter and hot summer. Climatic conditions are such that precipitation does not exceed 700 mm per year. The coefficient of moisture at the same time increased, but may change during the summer. In our country, mixed forests are on sod-podzolic soil, and in the west - on brown forest. As a rule, winter temperatures do not fall below - 10˚C.
Broadleaved forests are characterized by a humid and moderately humid climate, where rainfall is distributed evenly throughout the year. The temperatures are quite high, and even in January it is never colder than -8˚C. The increased humidity and abundant heat stimulate the work of bacteria and fungal organisms, due to which the leaves quickly decompose, and the soil retains maximum fertility.
Features of the plant world
Features of biochemical and biological processes cause the consolidation of species diversity as it moves toward broad-leaved species. European mixed forests are distinguished by the obligatory presence of pine, spruce, maple, oak, linden, ash, elm, and viburnum, hazel and honeysuckle are leading among the bushes. Ferns are very common as grasses. Caucasian mixed forests in large volumes contain beech, fir, and Far Eastern ones - birch, walnut, hornbeam, larch. The same forests are distinguished by a variety of vines.
Representatives of the fauna
In mixed forests live those animals and birds, which are generally considered typical for forest conditions. These are elks, foxes, wolves, bears, boars, hedgehogs, hares, badgers. If we talk about individual deciduous forests, the species diversity of birds, rodents and ungulates is especially striking. In such forests there are roe deer, fallow deer, deer, beavers, muskrats and nutria.
A moderate natural area, including mixed forests, has long been mastered by local residents and densely populated. An impressive part of the forest plantation was cut down several centuries ago, due to which the composition of the forest changed and the proportion of small-leaved species grew. On the site of many forests appeared agricultural areas and settlements.
Broadleaf forests in general can be considered rare forest ecosystems. After the XVII century, they were cut down on a large scale, in many respects, because wood was needed for the sailing fleet. Also deciduous forests actively cut down under arable land and meadows. Particularly badly affected by such human activities were oak stands, which could hardly be restored ever.
Animals of mixed and deciduous forests
Approximately on the line Leningrad - Kazan, the taiga goes into a mixed forest. To the south and west of this line, conifers are gradually replaced by broad-leaved ones. The animal world is also gradually changing.
In the mixed forest, we find many taiga animals: white hare, elk, squirrel, flying squirrel, wood grouse. But there are also animals typical for deciduous forests: red deer, wild boar, and roe deer. In the deciduous forest is much more than in the taiga, various tree species. There are many shrubs and glades are often found. The fauna in these forests is also richer and more diverse than in the taiga. Insectivorous and granivorous birds dominate here. Squirrels in these forests feed not on the seeds of coniferous trees, but on hazel nuts, seeds of linden, maple and other hardwood, acorns. Acorns are the favorite food of boars. Acorns are eaten by bears and other animals and birds.
The most typical animals for deciduous forests are: forest cat, brown bear, forest marten, black polecat, mink, weasel, squirrel, several types of dormouse. Among the birds, the green woodpecker, colorful woodpeckers (large, medium and small), pigeon-wood pigeon, oriole, chaffinch, forest lark, tits - large and blue tit, black and song thrushes, western nightingale, barberfish are especially numerous. From the south some steppe animals penetrate into the deciduous forests: a hare, hamster, and a partridge.
Green and viviparous lizards, swindra, copperfish and common viper are found in reptiles in deciduous forests, and grass and mock frogs, frogs are found in amphibians.
In the last century, in the deciduous forests of Europe, there were a significant number of huge wild bulls - bison. They inhabited the forest regions of Central Europe and northwest Russia. Predatory hunting and war led to their almost complete destruction. A lot of work has been done in our country to restore the number of bison. Purebred bison are kept and successfully breed in the reserves of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and Prioksko-Terrasny. Now the number of bison in the USSR has increased significantly. Bison feed on grasses, buds, leaves and bark of deciduous trees.
They used to be found in the zone of deciduous forests and river beavers. The fur of these animals is valued extremely highly, so they have long served as an object of intensive fishing and in the beginning of the XX century. were almost completely destroyed. Now in our country, these animals are protected by law. Work is underway on their resettlement. Beavers live on quiet forest streams, whose banks are densely overgrown with deciduous trees. They feed on tree shoots and bark, and from the branches they build their dwellings - huts, from trunks and branches - dams, which block the river bed, arranging artificial backwaters. The size of the hut is different. They serve beavers for many years, they are repaired annually, they are completed and sometimes reach enormous sizes. So, in the Voronezh reserve there is a hut, which is 2.5 m high, and the base diameter is 12 m. But usually they are smaller: 1-1.5 m high and 3 m in diameter.
The most amazing beaver structures are dams. The animals arrange them in case of a strong drop in the water level in the river. The finished dam is so strong that a person can freely cross it from one bank to another. The length of the dams is different - 15-20, 50 m, and in North America there is a beaver dam, reaching 652 m in length, 4.3 m in height with a base width of 7 m and a ridge of 1.5 m.
A lot of moles in deciduous forests. Most of the time they spend underground, in deep holes and passages. Moles feed mainly on insects and their larvae, worms and other invertebrates. Moles do not have winter hibernation, since even at this time of the year there is enough food for them underground. Numerous hedgehogs in deciduous forests also feed mainly on invertebrates.
In the basins of the Volga, the Don, the Urals there lives a very peculiar animal, the desman. He spends most of his time in water, in coastal holes. From the sense organs, the muskrat has the best developed sense of touch, smell, and hearing. It slips with the help of special hairs on the muzzle and forepaws. Its muzzle is elongated in the form of a mobile proboscis, at the end of which nostrils are located. Sometimes, before the swim up to the surface, the muskrat exposes its proboscis and, turning it in all directions, sniffs the air. B. In case of danger, he himself can remain under water for a long time, breathing with the help of a proboscis exposed above the surface. It feeds on muskrat by worms, leeches, mollusks, aquatic insects and their larvae. Muskrat is a very valuable animal: it possesses high-quality fur. The number of this animal is currently negligible, and the hunt for it is very limited. There are many bats in the deciduous forest zone, which are almost absent in the taiga. They are nocturnal and twilight and feed almost exclusively on insects.
The characteristic inhabitants of the deciduous forest are sony (hazel, garden, forest, and half a forest), which fall into deep hibernation for the winter. They feed on fruits, acorns, nuts, berries and insects. Their favorite habitats are dense undergrowth and shrubs. They live in the hollows of trees or build nests on the branches.
The wild boar is a strong beast with fast movements, easily carrying its heavy, but well-knit body on relatively short strong legs. Boars are always kept in small herds consisting of males, females and piglets. A single life lead only old cleavers. The boar sees its rather small eyes with its small eyes, therefore smell and hearing play a very important role in its life. It is not by chance that the first movement of the boar, who suspected danger, is to lift the nose upwards and force the air in, at the same time alerting the ears. Wild boars lead mostly nightlife, and during the day they rest in the most deaf and hard-to-reach places. However, where they are not disturbed, they often feed during the day. Like domestic pigs, boars are omnivores.
Sparse forest, high grass meadows and shrubs are the favorite habitats of red deer and roe deer. The pine marten is one of the most valuable fur animals. She arranges her nests at high altitude in hollows. More often than other animals from this predator suffers protein. The nocturnal lifestyle of the marten gives it tremendous advantages in the hunt for a squirrel, since the squirrel is a day animal and sleeps soundly in its nest at night. Marten is easy to capture her sleeping. Having reached the squirrel's nest, the marten searches for an entrance opening, which the squirrel closes from inside with a stopper of some soft material, and, having burst into the nest, grabs the sleeping hostess. Eats marten and vegetable food: fruits, berries. She loves honey very much. Having found a nest of wild bees, the marten sometimes lives for a long time near it, quite often several martens gather to the nest.
A black polecat is found in sparse light forest. He arranges his nests under stumps, in hollows, among brushwood, in old burrows of foxes, badgers and other animals. Of reptiles in deciduous forests live shieldlordomniki, and of amphibians - numerous newts.
Animals of deciduous forests have a different meaning in human activities. Some do harm, others are helpful. For example, mouse-like rodents cause great damage to crops of cultivated plants and planting forests. The wolf has long been considered a dangerous pest of livestock and hunting, but calls for the complete destruction of the wolf are not justified. A wolf, destroying predominantly weak and sick animals, contributes to the improvement of the populations of wild animals with which it feeds (see Art. “How plants and animals live in nature”). In areas where. the number of the wolf is insignificant, there is practically no harm from it. Все копытные животные, пушные звери имеют промысловое значение, а также являются объектами спортивной охоты. Многочисленные виды насекомоядных птиц, особенно синицы, мухоловки, славки, пеночки, иволги, дятлы, кукушки, уничтожают огромное число вредных насекомых и их личинок, очищая от них леса, сады, поля и огороды.Extremely useful are some birds of prey - kestrel, buzzard, owls, harrier, exterminating the mass of rodent pests.
In our time, the animal world of deciduous forests has undergone great changes under the influence of human activity. Many animals have changed the limits of their distribution in this area, expanding them or, conversely, reducing. The number of some animals has decreased, some of them have almost disappeared, others, on the contrary, have become more numerous. In our country, work is underway to restore and protect natural resources. This also applies to the zone of deciduous forests, in particular, its fauna (see Art. “Changes and enrichment of the fauna”).
Taiga forests, taiga plants
Boreal taiga forests is the largest ecosystem of northern Eurasia, North America and Scandinavia. Taiga plants are represented mainly by conifers, mosses, lichens and small shrubs, but the taiga is different.
There are several types of boreal taiga forest in which certain plants prevail. Taiga forests are divided into light-coniferous taiga, dominated by pine and larch, and dark coniferous taiga, in which spruce, Siberian cedar, and fir predominate. The soil of the taiga is sod-podzolic, acidic.
Let's take a look at the main plants of taiga, which in some way can be useful for a traveler, a hermit or a hunter-hunter.
First, let's look at the habitat of these plants:
We see that coniferous forests spread throughout almost the whole north of the land.
From myself I want to add that the mountain ranges of the European Alps, the Carpathians, the Rocky Mountains of North America are covered with taiga, which is not shown in the diagram.
The most important representative of the taiga.
The basis of dark coniferous taiga, which became its symbol. Most often spruce grows in mixed forests, but often it is the main forest forming. Spruce wood is used in logging, it is suitable for construction, although it is slightly worse than pine wood. The cone of spruce appears between the ages of 15 and 50, depending on the place of growth. The interval between harvest 3-5 years. Pine needles, cones are rich in vitamin C and other beneficial substances, they also contain many essential oils.
The needles allocate the phytoncides playing an antibacterial role.
Common pine, along with spruce, is widespread in Russia. The basis of light coniferous taiga. Pine wood is widely used in construction, because of its high resin content, it is one of the best natural building materials on the territory of the taiga zone.
The resin has a very pleasant smell, is used for the forcing of tar, turpentine, rosin. Previously, resins were widely used in shipbuilding and other construction, where the preservative properties of pine are required. Needles contain vitamin C and other beneficial substances.
I call fir the most tender tree of dark-coniferous taiga due to the fact that its needles are very soft and do not prick at all.
It is good to use fir paws for bedding if you spend the night in the forest without a tent and foam mat. I also prefer to drink tea with brewed needles. Tea turns out to be fragrant, though non-vitamin, because vitamins are destroyed when heated.
Fir wood is little used, it is poorly suited for construction.
Fir is more medicinal wood than material for construction. Fir resin can be smeared with wounds: it has an antiseptic effect and contributes to their rapid healing. Fir oil is widely used in cosmetics.
I already have an article about Siberian cedar.
Let me just say that this is the most noble tree of dark coniferous taiga. Pine nuts are greatly appreciated due to the rich composition of nutrients. The presence of cedar in the taiga indicates the presence of fur in it, which is another important factor. Cedar wood is used in construction, carpentry.
It has a reddish tint and a pleasant smell. Wood is less resinous than pine wood. Cedar lives up to 800 years. The vegetation period is 40-45 days a year. Cones ripen within 14-15 months. Each cone contains from 30 to 150 nuts. Cedar begins to bear fruit after an average of 60 years, sometimes later.
Larch forest, Yakutia
Larch is the most hardy tree in the taiga zone.
It grows in mixed forests, but most often, due to its resistance to frost, larch forms a monoles - larch. Larch withstands frost at -70 ° C, and even more.
The needles are one-year, not at all prickly, soft. Larch loves bright areas of the area, so it is very difficult to find it in dark coniferous forests.
As a rule, these will be lonely trees, or monolarch forests. Larch wood is very dense due to the short growing season. She has many rings. A thin tree can be very old. Very well suited for construction, is a desirable material for the manufacture of the first crowns of taiga winters. The wood is not afraid of moisture and decays very slowly. Contains a lot of resin.
Deciduous trees and taiga shrubs
The most popular representative of deciduous in the taiga forest.
Distributed everywhere. It is present in almost all mixed forests of northern latitude. Almost all parts of this tree are widely used. Wood is used for construction, handicraft, carpentry. From the bark they extract tar, make various objects, it burns well. In the spring, birch sap, rich in vitamins and sugars, is extracted from living birch trees. Buds and leaves are used in medicine.
Another hardwood in the taiga.
Aspen is a relative of poplar, their bark can even be confused. Used for landscaping settlements as a fast-growing tree. The bark is used for tanning leather. It serves to obtain yellow and green paint. In April, bees collect pollen from aspen flowers, and glue from dissolved buds, which is processed into propolis. It is used to build houses, it is used as a roofing material (in Russian wooden architecture covered with domes of churches with aspen boards), in the production of plywood, cellulose, matches, tare and other things.
Young growth is a winter food for elks, deer, hares and other mammals. It is a medicinal plant. Aspen has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, choleretic and anthelmintic action.
The combination of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties in aspen bark makes it promising in the complex treatment of tuberculosis, smallpox, malaria, syphilis, dysentery, pneumonia, cough of various origins, rheumatism and inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bladder. Aqueous extract of aspen bark is used to treat opisthorchiasis.
From the Birch family.
In the north it is a small shrub, in the south - a tree about 6 m in height. Distributed in the taiga zone, less common birch and aspen.
It grows in wet soils. The bark and leaves give paint for animal skins. Practically not used in everyday life. It is a food for elks and serves as a refuge for game animals.
In the taiga forest - the guest is quite rare, growing mainly in the south, in the central part of Russia, in some places in Western Siberia and in the Amur taiga.
Wood is widely used in carpentry-joinery, it is well-treated due to its softness. Medicines are produced from some parts of the linden tree, and it is also an excellent honey plant. Washcloths, bast shoes, and mats are made from the wood's subblood (bast).
Widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
It grows everywhere in the taiga. The use of rowan is small. Berries are eaten, mountain ash is a honey plant, woodwork is made of wood. Berries are used in traditional medicine as an anti-scintillant, hemostatic, diaphoretic, diuretic, choleretic, laxative and as a remedy for headache.
The fresh fruits of mountain ash have a bitter taste, but the first frosts lead to the destruction of the bitter glycoside of sorbic acid - and the bitterness disappears. The fruits of the most famous variety of mountain ash (nevezhinskaya), containing up to 9% sugar, have a sweet taste and frost.
A small shrub that grows everywhere in the taiga. It also grows in the mountains of Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan.
Fruits - cones, contain sugar, organic acids and trace elements. Juniper is widely used in folk medicine due to the high content of phytoncides. Used in the treatment of various diseases such as tuberculosis, kidney disease, bronchitis, etc.
Cedar elfin wood
It grows in relatively mountainous areas, on the border of the taiga and tundra. It grows on stones, very slowly, lives to 250 years.
Resin cedar elfin is rich in various substances. Turpentine, which is an antiseptic, diuretic, causing skin flushing, and anthelmintic, is obtained from the resin. Used to treat kidney and bladder.
Nuts are rich in nutrients and are not inferior to their elder brother - Siberian cedar. Previously, pine needles were used as an anti-scorching agent; it also contains carotene, more than carrots.
Plants and animals of deciduous forests. Description, photo and video of vegetation and wildlife of deciduous forests of Russia.
To the south of the taiga narrow deciduous forests stretch more demanding to climatic conditions, deciduous forests, tree species which are of great diversity. The favorable conditions for the development of these arrays include: air temperature in excess of 10 ° C over a long summer period, annual rainfall in the range of 500-700 mm with a predominant precipitation during the warm period. These conditions determine the main characteristics of the structure and development of tree species. Broad-leaved trees are covered with foliage only during the warm period of the year; trunks and branches are protected from thick bark from excessive evaporation in the winter period.
For the Russian Plain, the main forest-forming species is pedunculate oak. In the Far East, other types of oaks grow, in Siberia and beyond the Urals there are no oak forests. Well-developed crowns of deciduous trees do not close tightly, so a complex tiered structure is characteristic of forests. Oak, elm, elm, ash, maple, linden are among the high tree species. The next tier is occupied by smaller trees: bird cherry, wild pear and apple, rowan, field maple. The undergrowth growing under the trees consists of large bushes: buckthorn, viburnum, hawthorn, bird cherry. Located in the thick shade of trees, shrubs bloom after the trees are covered with foliage. So that during the flowering period, insects easily find and pollinate them, the bushes bloom in the most noticeable white color. For broadleaf species characterized by the presence of a set of sleeping buds at the base of the trunk. A tree broken by a wind or sawed by a man sprouts from these buds and restores its crown. So on the site of felling there appears a less valuable forest of coppice origin.
Below the woody plants are grassy plants: snyt, scilla, Kashubian buttercup, hoofed animal. In deciduous forests grow medicinal herbs, there are plants listed in the Red Book.
Photo: autumn forest.
Plants and animals of deciduous forests located in the European part of Russia differ from the flora and fauna of the Far Eastern forests. A feature of the natural landscape of the Far East are the trees - giants: whole-leafed fir, Korean cedar, century-old lindens, oaks, Manchurian ash, ilmeni. The land in dense thickets is covered with magnificent ferns. The Ussurian tiger, the Ussurian black bear, the Amur snake, the Ussuri relic barbel, and beautiful butterflies - the Maakha Maakha live in these forests. It is also worth mentioning the Chinese turtle, eating fish and biting painfully. All these are the largest representatives in their species.
Hoofed, predatory, insectivorous animals and rodents inhabit the deciduous forests of Russia that are least modified by humans. The forest is a refuge and habitat for roe deer, elk, deer, wild boar. A group of predators is a wolf, a marten, a fox, a weasel, a ferret, an ermine. Squirrels, muskrats, beavers, nutria - rodents that are found in these ecological systems. In the forest live hedgehogs, moles, shrews, mice, snakes and lizards. Among rare, protected by law, animals - bison. Broad-leaved forests and various birds inhabit the area. A large detachment of passerines is represented by finches, tits, starlings, swallows, larks. Large birds such as hazel grouse and black grouse live in the forest; among birds of prey, harrier, owl, owl, and owl are found.
See more about animal and plant life in deciduous forests.
Wildlife of France 2 (Forest in the Fog)
Secrets of the flood forest. Danube National Park (2011)
coniferous, mixed, broadleaf and small-leaved
Forests make up a little more than 45% of the area of Russia, and almost a quarter of the total forest area of the world. In the European part of the country they are much smaller than in the Asian. The most common forest-forming tree species are spruce, larch, pine, cedar, oak, maple and hornbeam. A lot of berry bushes, mushrooms, valuable herbs grow in the forests, as well as countless species of fauna. Deforestation leads to a reduction in forests and the threat of extinction of many animals. In the XXI century it is very important to be able to reproduce forest resources, which play one of the main roles in the regulation of climate on the planet.
Map of forest land in Russia in%
Russia is the largest country in the world, and for this reason, there are many natural zones on its territory, in which various types of trees grow. The forests of Russia, depending on the predominance of certain tree species, are divided into four main types: 1) coniferous forests, 2) deciduous forests, 3) mixed forests, 4) small-leaved forests. Below we look at each of these forest types in more detail.
Characteristics of coniferous forests of Russia
Coniferous forests are located in the natural zone of taiga, and occupy about 70% of the total area of the country's forests. This zone is known for low temperature and humid air. Coniferous forests stretch from the western borders of Russia to the Verkhoyansk Range. The main forest forming species are spruce, pine, fir and larch.
In the conditions of a harsh winter, mixed forests are most often encountered: dark coniferous and light coniferous. Evergreen tree species are well developed. Their photosynthesis begins in spring with the onset of favorable weather conditions. There is practically no undergrowth in the taiga. There is a podzolic soil and many swamps. Coniferous needles drop, which, when decomposed, release into the ground toxic compounds for many plants. The earth is covered, as a rule, mosses and lichens. Shrubs and flowers mainly grow along the banks of rivers, in dark places there are very few of them. It is found lingonberry, juniper, rowan, blueberry and curly lily.
It is the weather conditions that determine the flora of Russia. The temperate continental climate prevails in the coniferous forest zone. Winters are dry and cold, and last for an average of six months. Short summers are warm and humid, with numerous cyclones. In the fall and spring, as a rule, only one month is allotted. Conifers are not demanding on temperature extremes.
The representatives of the animal world feed on moss, lichen, bark and cones. High forest crown protects animals from winds, and the branches provide an opportunity to build nests. Typical representatives of the fauna of coniferous forests are vole, hare, Siberian weasel, chipmunk. Of the large mammals, the Siberian tiger, the brown bear, the lynx and the elk can be noted, and the reindeer comes from the forest-tundra zone to the coniferous forests. Eagles and vultures hover in the sky.
Coniferous wood is considered one of the most valuable. Its approximate reserve is 5.8 billion cubic meters. In addition to logging, oil, gold and gas are mined in the territory of taiga. Coniferous forests of Russia - a huge forest. He suffers from forest fires and uncontrolled logging. Due to the negative activity of humans, rare animals die. There are many reserves, but for the full restoration of forests it is necessary to properly organize the protection and efficient use of the forest resources of the country.
Characteristics of deciduous forests of Russia
The territory of deciduous forests stretches from the western border of Russia to the Ural Mountains. The main tree species are beech, oak, elm, linden, maple and hornbeam. Multi-tiered forests: the upper tier is replaced by a canopy and undergrowth, which, in turn, are herbaceous plants and forest floor. The soil is covered with mosses. There are areas in which lush crowns completely exclude undergrowth. Foliage, falling off, decomposes and forms humus. The land in the undergrowth is rich in organomineral compounds.
The forests are located in the temperate continental zone. The weather here is much warmer than in the neighboring taiga. Summer lasts four months, the average temperature per season is + 10 ° C. This contributes to the growth of deciduous trees. The climate is humid with a lot of precipitation. Среднемесячная температура в январе опускается до -16ºС. Максимум осадков выпадает летом, глубокого снежного покрова не бывает.
Листья не могут пережить холодный период года, и опадают в середине осени. Плотный покров из листвы, веток и коры защищает землю от чрезмерного испарения. Почва богата микроэлементами, она обеспечивает деревья всем необходимым. The foliage which has fallen down for the winter covers the root system, protects it from cold weather and stimulates the roots to further growth.
The composition of the animal world in the European part is somewhat different from the Far Eastern forests. Asian lands cover ferns, ilmens and lindens. The elk, the Himalayan bear and the Ussurian tiger live in dense thickets. The moth, viper and Amur snake are common reptiles. European deciduous forests have become home to the boar, elk, deer, wolf, weasel, beaver, muskrat and nutria. Mice, lizards, snakes, moles and hedgehogs also live there. Birds are represented by black grouses, owls, owls, starlings, swallows and larks.
The zone of deciduous forests has long been mastered by man, especially in western Russia. People had to significantly reduce the green territory for grazing, plant growing and building cities. Trees are the main raw material for the logging industry. Recycling is adjusted. The subsoil is rich in minerals, and in large rivers there is the potential for the development of hydroelectric power.
The forest area is significantly reduced, while the forests are cut down on the former scale. Due to anthropogenic influence, red-book plants and animals are dying out. Unscrupulous entrepreneurs cut down huge areas of forests. To preserve natural complexes, several nature reserves and national parks were created, but this is not enough. Broad-leaved trees grow relatively quickly. It is necessary to organize the planting of seedlings on the territory of felled forests, as well as carefully use the remaining forests.
Characteristics of mixed forests of Russia
Mixed forests are located in the region of the Russian Plain, West Siberian Plain, Amur and Primorye. In this area there are a variety of tree species. For these forests is characterized by a pronounced layering. To the light stretch poplar, pine and spruce. Maples, elms, lindens and oaks rise below them. Tier shrubs represented hawthorn, dogrose, raspberries and blackberries. The soil is covered with lichens, mosses and low grasses.
Trees of mixed forests are easier to endure the severity of the climate than in the neighboring deciduous. Vegetation can withstand temperatures down to -30ºС. Rainfall varies by region. There is more snow in European forests than in the Far East. Maximum rainfall is during the warm season. Summer is mild and wet. The climate moves from maritime to continental, from west to east.
Continuous renewal of green mass contributes to fueling trees and cleaning the earth from unnecessary substances. Forest dwellers use the resources of all tiers as a food base. The seeds of conifers attract birds, rodents eat nuts, the larvae under the bark are food for insectivorous birds.
Numerous animals once were subjected to extermination as a result of uncontrolled hunting. You can also find roe deer and boar. Bison and red deer are preserved only in reserves. The famous fox is a well-known predator of mixed forest. The badger lives in the European part. Squirrel, mink, dormouse, marten, forest cat, brown bear are considered common representatives of the fauna of mixed forests. The world of birds is also diverse, especially a lot of woodpeckers, wood grouses, wild pigeons, finches and chargers.
Stocks of valuable wood are in the Asian part. Manchurian walnut, Korean cedar, whole-leafed fir are famous for their strength and resistance to decay. Eleutherococcus and Schizandra are used for medical purposes. Logging activities are carried out in Europe.
Mixed forests more than others suffered at the hands of man. This has led to a number of environmental issues. The need for agricultural land has led to the cutting down of a significant part of the territory. Due to the drainage of wetlands, the ecosystem has changed. The growth of settlements, especially in the west, has led to a decrease in forest cover by 30%.
The foliage of trees perfectly processes carbon dioxide. The logging, which has reached a gigantic scale, has destroyed millions of hectares. Because of this, harmful gases accumulate in the atmosphere, creating a greenhouse effect. Hundreds of species of animal and plant world disappears from the face of the earth. People's fault is caused by forest fires that drastically change the ecosystem. Illegal hunting is conducted on rare species of animals. Resources are almost depleted, only the interaction of the state and citizens can stop the process of destruction of the mixed forests of the country.
Characteristics of small-leaved forests of Russia
The zone of small-leaved forests stretches from the East European Plain to the Far East. The forests stretch in a narrow band, at times replacing the broad-leaved ones. Small-leaved trees play the role of a second forest, replacing broad-leaved and coniferous species.
The main tree species are birch, alder and aspen. Their foliage is distinguished by a narrow leaf plate. Trees are undemanding to the climate and soil quality. Birch wood are the most common.
Often trees grow on the site of fires or felling. Alder breeds overgrown, and aspen - root suckers. Where there were no forests, trees grow by seed. A surprising feature is the ability to accumulate moisture. Alder and birch thickets block the path to fire, do not allow to spread to the noble species.
The fauna is formed under the influence of indigenous trees. A lot of birds. Mammals include hares, lynxes, moose and squirrels. Stripes of small-leaved forest alternating with farmlands are favorite places for raccoon dogs.
Secondary forests contribute to the restoration of green areas, although the full rehabilitation takes about 180 years. They act as a fire buffer. It is hoped that small-leaved forests will contribute to the reorganization of the country's forest resources.
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