Introduction

  • A. Osawa
  • O. A. Zyryanova
Chapter
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 209)

Abstract

Majority of the eastern half of Siberia is covered with forests of larch species. The forests are also growing mostly on continuous permafrost. However, the natural environment is quite different in the rest of the northern hemisphere. Tundra or arctic desert is virtually the only biome-type where the continuous permafrost predominates. Therefore, a biome of extensive forests over permafrost has never been recognized outside Siberia. Its ecology has been practically unknown. Classical textbooks of ecology, such as those by Odum (1971), Whittaker (1975), and Begon et al. (1990), describe a biome type called boreal forest (or taiga, or northern coniferous forest) for high latitudes of northern hemisphere. The boreal forest is commonly dominated by evergreen coniferous trees in both North America and Eurasia. Generally speaking, distribution of boreal forest and that of continuous permafrost are also mutually exclusive. However, we know today that approximately 20% of the boreal forests in the world are dominated by deciduous forest of larch species, and that they grow on continuous permafrost. We anticipate many differences not only in ecology of the tree species, but also in characteristics of the environmental factors between the traditional boreal forest and the permafrost forest biome of eastern half of Siberia. Area of such forests is too large to be treated as exception as well. Therefore, we propose permafrost forest as a separate division of the boreal forest biome.

Keywords

Biomass Covariance Respiration Photosynthesis Vasil 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Osawa
    • 1
  • O. A. Zyryanova
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Forest and Biomaterials SciencesGraduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.V. N. Sukachev Institute of Forest, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of SciencesKrasnoyarskRussia

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