Siberia is as exceptional as its majestic nature. The Siberian taiga never fails to evoke a sense of spiritual awe and profound emotions within us. Even if you have never been there the mere thought of the boundless taiga stretching for nine thousand kilometers leaves a profound impression. And you realize that this is not just a huge forest, but something more.
The Siberian taiga has earned the well-deserved title of "green lungs of the planet" among scientists. It is an oxygen factory for the entire northern hemisphere that preserves a thriving ecosystem. What sets the Siberian taiga apart is its distinction as the location with the most extreme temperature fluctuations on the planet. Among its most valuable assets for humanity are premium construction timber, valuable mineral deposits, wild and untamed rivers, rare medicinal plants, and a wide variety of wildlife.
Subzones of the Siberian taiga
The Siberian taiga can be divided into three distinct subzones, each characterized by differences in climate, the presence of permafrost, vegetation types, and unique wildlife features.
The northern taiga extends from the tundra border to the southern reaches of Taimyr and is known for its severe climate conditions. This region experiences extended winters with average temperatures plummeting to -30 °C to -50 °C, while its summers are short, with temperatures reaching a maximum of around +17 °C. It is noteworthy that in the taiga, summer temperatures are very important, as the presence of trees relies on having at least one summer month with an average temperature exceeding +16 °C. The northern subzone's terrain is predominantly marshy, leading to the prevalence of low-lying coniferous forests in this area.
The middle taiga subzone is located in the central regions along the Yenisei, Ob, and Lena rivers. It is distinguished by a temperate continental climate with frosty winters and warm summers. Many swamps and dense coniferous forests, particularly spruce forests, dominate this area.
The southern taiga subzone covers the southern part of Siberia and has a moderately warm climate that is conducive to the growth of coniferous trees. This belt is characterized by its abundant flora and fauna. Winters in this region are frosty and long, with an average temperature of around -12 °C, while summers are short and warm, with temperatures ranging from +16 °C to +22 °C.
Flora of the taiga
The Siberian taiga is divided into two main types based on the predominant tree species: Dark coniferous and light coniferous. The dark coniferous consists of spruces, silver firs, and cedars. Characteristic of the northern Siberian regions is a perpetually dim environment, where the overhanging tree canopies limit the entry of sunlight, fostering the growth of mosses and herbs.
One of the largest trees of the dark coniferous taiga is Siberian cedar. This mighty tree can reach a height of 40 meters, although its growth rate is relatively slow. Pine nuts are not only a popular delicacy for humans but also a favored treat for many taiga inhabitants, including brown bears. In the dark coniferous taiga, the captivating silver fir, with its candle-like cones, adds an element of enchantment and mystery to the landscape. Unlike cedar, it grows quickly and can live up to 400–600 years. For us, it is especially valuable due to its strong medicinal properties.
The light-coniferous type of taiga predominates in Central and Eastern Siberia. This type of taiga is characterized by the growth of pine and larch trees. It boasts a diverse flora, including dwarf birches, alder forests, and various shrubs. Within the pine forest, the tall crowns allow ample sunlight to filter through, creating ideal conditions for cranberry and blueberry thickets, rare herbs, and an abundance of mushrooms.
Pine trees thrive in sunny and well-lit environments, and they are generally undemanding when it comes to climate and soil conditions, contributing to their wide geographical distribution.
Larch stands out as the most cold-resistant tree in the taiga, with the ability to endure temperatures as low as -70 °C. Its distinctive feature is an exceptionally straight trunk. It can reach a height of up to 50 meters and grows rapidly, adding approximately 1 meter in height per year. The larch forest is even lighter than the pine forest, often emitting a delightful coniferous fragrance as the resin warms in the sunlight.
The wildlife of the taiga
The taiga forests of Siberia are home to large and small mammals that have successfully adapted to the challenging environmental conditions. The permanent master of the Siberian taiga is the brown bear, known for its winter hibernation. The taiga is also home to wolves, lynxes, foxes, reindeer, elks, and Siberian sables.
The world of birds is very diverse, with the majority of species being migratory. Capercaillies, nutcrackers, Siberian thrushes, owls, and woodpeckers are commonly found throughout the taiga, enjoying wide distribution in this environment. The taiga is also home to some rare and endangered species listed in the Red Book, including the hooded crane, black stork, and golden eagle.
A human in the taiga
Taiga forests are currently facing the challenges of unregulated logging and frequent wildfires, often caused by human activities, resulting in significant loss of plant and animal life. Despite all its power, the Siberian taiga needs our protection and attention. Although these forests are millions of years old, they are easy to destroy and very difficult to recreate.
The riches found in the Siberian taiga, including timber, fur, turpentine, nuts, and berries, hold significant value for humans. We should express gratitude for it and responsibly care for nature, as it plays a vital role in numerous life processes on Earth and directly impacts our well-being.
The composition of many Siberian Wellness products includes ingredients from natural raw materials that the Siberian taiga gives us:
Let's cherish and value the priceless gifts bestowed upon us by nature!