09/14/2008 16:54

A taiga forest.

The plants in the taiga are not very diverse. One of the large reasons for this small amount of diversity is that the conditions are very hard for plants to live in.The cold winters and acidic surface conditions inhibit most plant species from growing in the taiga (Taiga conditions,1). So the plants that can cope with the conditions thrive in the area. The main plants that can thrive in the taiga are needle leaf and coniferous trees. Specifically the evergreen, spruce, fir and pine.These trees have certain adaptations that give them large advantages over many other deciduous and coniferous trees. The conical shape of these evergreens help in the winter to keep water from transpiring during the winter. The needles of the trees have a waxy coating that also protects from the drying winter winds. The needles themselves don't fall of the trees every year in the fall. This coupled with the needles' dark green color gives these coniferous trees an advantage in photosynthesizing from sunlight as soon as it is warm enough to instead of waiting for leaves to grow on the tree.(Boreal Forest,1).

    The evergreen trees also inhibit the growth of other small plants. Alluded to in the article about physical features, evergreen trees' needles leech acid into the soil as they decay. As the layers of needles build up, the pH level of the soil goes down. This acidity of the soil makes it difficult for smaller plants to survive in the taiga( Taiga forests, 1).