Coniferous (Taiga or Boreal) Forest of Pakistan – Climatic Biome

higher altitudes support boreal forest

INTRODUCTION

Coniferous (Taiga or Boreal) Forest: It is defined as evergreen scale-leaved, cone-bearing, needle-leaved trees. It is present in locations where winters are longer. It receives precipitation in the form of snow.

Coniferous (Taiga or Boreal) Forest Biome: Boreal biome usually consists of coniferous forests that include spruce, pine, and larches.

Characteristics of Coniferous (Taiga or Boreal) Forest Biome: It is characterized by the presence of evergreen species of plants, extremely cold, and long winter seasons. Soil is covered with snow almost throughout the year.

CONIFEROUS (TAIGA OR BOREAL) FORESTS BIOME OF PAKISTAN

The coniferous (taiga or boreal forest biome of Pakistan includes Himalayan dry temperate forests and alpine coniferous forest.

Location of Coniferous (Taiga or Boreal) Forest Biome of Pakistan: The boreal forest is located in the mountain range of Pakistan including Kaghan Valley, Chitral, and Malam Jabba.

Himalayan dry temperate forests consist of coniferous forests that are present in Balochistan hills, Rawalpindi, Azad Kashmir, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Malakand, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Swat, and Chitral.

Climate of Coniferous (Taiga or Boreal) Forest Biome of Pakistan: The climate of the coniferous forest biome is characterized as subarctic. These forests are present at 1000 t0 4000 high altitudes. Winters are long and harsh. The temperature varies from -5°C to 15 °C. Sometimes the temperature drops to negative and reaches up to 30 °C during summer. The summers are mild and shorter. The precipitation is in the form of snow or hail storms. The recorded rainfall is 20 inches.

BIODIVERSITY OF CONIFEROUS (TAIGA OR BOREAL) FORESTS BIOME OF PAKISTAN

Due to harsh climatic conditions, restricted species of plants and animals are present that can survive extreme cold.

FLORA: PLANTS/VEGETATION  

Serial No. Plants Common Name Scientific Name
1. Oak Quercus ilex
2. Pashtun Juniper Juniperus macropoda
3. Chilghoza Pine Pinus gerardiana
4. Chir Pine Pinus roxburghii
5. Pindrow Fir Abies pindrow
6. Elderberry Sambucus ebulus
7. Indigo Indigofera gerardiana
8. Deodar Cedrus deodara
9. Blue Pine Pinus wallichiana
10. Morinda Spruce Picea smithiana

 

FAUNA: ANIMALS

Serial No. Animals Common Name Scientific Name
1. Crossbills Loxia curvirostra
2. Snowshoe Hare Lepus americanus
3. Marco polo sheep Ovis ammon polii
4. Bison/ Buffalo Bison bison
5. Turkestan Rat Rattus turkestanicus
6. Long-tailed/Kashmir Field mouse Apodemus rusiges
7. Yellow-throated Merten Martes flavigula
8. Himalayan Black Bear Ursus thibetanus
9. Small Kashmir Flying Squirrel Hylopetes fimbriatus
10. Royle‟s Pika Ochotona roylei

 

THREATS TO CONIFEROUS (TAIGA OR BOREAL) FORESTS BIOME OF PAKISTAN

Main threats to coniferous forests include deforestation, clearing land for vegetation, and logging. Illegal timber logging is threatening the coniferous cover in Pakistan. People living in the surrounding areas use wood for combustion, fodder, and construction. Overgrazing is also a big threat to the vegetation of coniferous forests.

Due to harsh and cold weather conditions, people burn wood and negligence might lead to the fire in the forest.

IMPORTANCE OF CONIFEROUS (TAIGA OR BOREAL) FORESTS BIOME OF PAKISTAN

Taiga/boreal Coniferous forests in Pakistan are very important for the environment of Pakistan. Climate change is affecting the country. These forests provide habitats to diverse species of plants and animals that can only be found in restricted areas. Coniferous forests have environmental importance because they absorb carbon from the air and have medicinal use.

Also, check out Temperate Deciduous / Mixed forests – Climatic Biome of Pakistan

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