• J. P. Grime
  • J. M. Anderson
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 57)


Taiga organisms experience an extremely short growing season and cold winter temperatures; but within the growing season, environmental conditions vary considerably among sites, ranging from cold, wet, black spruce forests on north-facing slopes to extremely warm, droughted sites on south-facing bluffs. Thus the environment ranges from conditions close to the northern extreme of tree growth through mesic conditions not unlike those of temperate forest ecosystems (except for generally lower soil temperatures) occurring at the ecotone between forest and dry temperate grasslands. There is a similar large breadth of conditions through succession. Within the taiga fire is an extremely important process with a return time of 50–100 years. On river floodplains, active erosion and deposition also result in a mosaic of communities of differing successional ages. Early in succession, following fire in the uplands or formation of new silt bars in the lowlands, soils are warm and conditions are favorable for the activity of plants, microorganisms, soil fauna, and above-ground herbivores. Gradually, through succession, nutrients become bound up in live and dead organic matter; and the soil is insulated and becomes cooler, resulting in decreased activity of most organisms. In summary, although the taiga contains forests growing under cold, nutrient-deficient conditions, it also includes a diverse array of other forest types not unlike those found at more temperate latitudes.


Dead Organic Matter Alluvial Terrace Temperate Forest Ecosystem Soil Organic Matter Accumulation Mesic Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Coley, P.D. 1983. Herbivory and defensive characteristics of tree species in a lowland tropical forest. Ecol. Monogr. 53 (2): 209–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cooke, R.C. and A.D.M. Raynor. 1984. The Ecology of Saprotrophic Fungi. Longman, London, United Kingdom. 415 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Greenslade, P.J.M. 1983. Adversity selection and the habitat templet. Am. Naturalist 122: 352–365.Google Scholar
  4. Grime, J.P. 1977. Evidence for the existence of three primary strategies in plants and its relevance to ecological and evolutionary theory. Am. Naturalist 111: 1169–1194.Google Scholar
  5. Miller, H.G., J.M. Cooper, J.D. Miller, and O.J.L. Pauline. 1979. Nutrient cycles in pine and their adaptations to poor soils. Can. J. Forest Res. 9: 19–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Pugh, G.J.F. 1980. Strategies in fungal ecology. Trans. Br. Mycol. Soc. 75: 1–14 95Google Scholar
  7. Ramensky, L.G. 1938. Introduction to the Geobotanical Study of Complex Vegetations. Selkozgiz, Moscow, U.S.S.R.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Grime
  • J. M. Anderson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations