11 North-Canada, Boreal Zone

The taiga predominates in the far north of Canada, just like in northern Scandinavia and Siberia. Here we find poor, sometimes swampy, sometimes dry soils under low temperatures with very long winters and short summers. Black and White spruce thrive here in the same way as Norway spruce in northern Europe. Tamarack or black larch, a small and fine tree, known as one of the few deciduous coniferous species, occupies the marshy places whereas Jack pine prefers the drier soils. Pioneer species such as Balsam poplars, Paper birch, alder and willow conquer vast areas of these forests after fires. Given the short growing season and the poor conditions, the trees are not very large and not very old, but the enormous size of these forests provides the paper industry with quantities of pulp. Various blueberry and heather species are another feature of the taiga.