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Taiga is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.

Covering most of inland Alaska, Canada, Sweden, Finland, inland Norway, northern Kazakhstan and Russia (especially Siberia), as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States, the taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome.

In Canada, boreal forest is the term used to refer to the southern part of this biome, while "taiga" is used to describe the more barren northern areas south of the Arctic tree-line.

Since North America and Eurasia were recently connected by the Bering land bridge, a number of animal and plant species (more animals than plants) were able to colonise both continents and are distributed throughout the taiga biome.

Others differ regionally, typically with each genus having several distinct species, each occupying different regions of the taiga.

Taigas also have some small-leaved deciduous trees like birch, alder, willow and aspen; mostly in areas escaping the most extreme winter cold.

However, the deciduous Larch is coping with the coldest winters on the northern hemisphere in eastern Siberia.

The southernmost part of the taiga also have trees like oak, maple and elm scattered among the conifers.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Taiga", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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