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Boreal forests


Boreal forests with spruce and fir predominance occupy up to 30% of the forested area of the Far East. The main wooded lands are situated in the Amgun River basin and along the lower reaches of the Amur River. Among the main coniferous species are Jezo spruce, Siberian spruce and Manchurian fir. Boreal forests differ from coniferous-deciduous forests by more simple structure, a small number of stories, poor species variety of trees, shrubs, and herbs. 

Larch forests encompass 40% of all Far Eastern forests. They grow mainly in the basins of the Bureya and Zeya Rivers stretching farther north up to the Kolyma River to cover all mountain ridges. In the southern areas, they are found as isolated forests along the valleys of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers. The dominant tree of these forests is the Dahurian larch that recently has been found to have a number of smaller species. This is often a large, fast growing tree with hard and valuable wood, reaching up to 35 m in height under the best environmental conditions. In the southern territories, larch can mix with oak, while in the north with birch, aspen, fir, and less often with spruce. In the west, pines are a frequent companion of larch.

Plant forage in the coniferous forests is less diverse than in the coniferous-deciduous woodlands. The life of a number of animal species depends on the productivity of spruce, fir, and Siberian dwarf-pine. This is primarily squirrel, chipmunk, crossbill. Moose feeds on bark and branches of aspen and birch, musk deer feeds on lichens. They usually roam the mountainous spruce forests. In the thick bushes of Siberian dwarf pine live sable and spotted nutcracker that eat its seeds. Among the taiga’s typical rodents are lemmings, striped field mice. Carnivorous mammals (other than sable) are Siberian weasel, ermine, least weasel, wolverine, badger, brown bear, wolf and lynx.

Map of the Boreal biom (AHEC)