What Are Some of the Human Effects on the Taiga Biome?

According to the Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program, human activities such as logging, mining and hydroelectric dam construction are harming the Canadian boreal forest, also known as the taiga biome. Natural gas and petroleum drilling projects also harm the taiga habitat. Each of these activities affects the ecosystem in different ways. For example, mining activities cause pollution, forest fragmentation and the diversion of water flow.

Hydroelectric dams alter the hydrology and water flow characteristics of aquatic ecosystems including streams, rivers and wetlands. The surrounding terrestrial ecosystems suffer harm as well. The timber industry in Canada clears innumerable acres of forest habitat each year. This places pressure on wild animals, which are forced to cope with reduced ranges and access to resources. Natural gas and petroleum extraction techniques also cause the destruction of forests. Alberta’s energy sector alone clears about 470 square kilometers of forest each year.

The taiga biome is very large and stretches around most of the northern hemisphere, according to Blue Planet Biomes. The biome is home to many species, including a number of migratory songbirds. The taiga already experiences periodic hardship in the form of wildfires. However, most of the species that inhabit the region, especially the trees, are well adapted to periodic fires.