What Type of Soil Is Found in the Taiga?
The main types of soil typically found in the taiga biome are spodosol, histosol and inceptisol, all of which contain very few nutrients. There are also large areas of taiga in North America and Europe that have very little to no soil, due to it being scraped away by glaciers.
Spodosol, which is found in much of the southern boreal forests, is highly acidic due to needles from conifer trees. Most important nutrients leach through spodosol soil and into the ground below.
Histosol develops in wetlands that form as a result of water being unable to drain due to surrounding topography, permafrost or rivers. This soil is characterized by its high peat content and occurs over a large portion of the bare taiga. These wetlands are mostly responsible for the huge numbers of insects that dominate the taiga during certain months.
Inceptisol is a very poorly developed type of soil that is characterized by very little or no clear layering. This usually occurs as a result of continuous waterlogging and/or the weather-resistant bedrock that lies just underneath most taiga. Some areas of taiga may also contain gelisol, a well-layered soil characterized by the presence of permafrost, but this is usually found further towards the pole in the tundra.