The boreal forest is one of the largest biomes on Earth, occurring in the northern high latitude regions mostly between about 50°N and 65°N (Fig. 1). The biome is dominated by coniferous trees, often occurring as extensive areas of purespecies, even-aged stands regenerated from large, stand-replacing disturbances. Its northern extent lies along the tundra-taiga ecotone; on its southern extent, boreal forest types begin to transition to more temperate conifer species and a greater mix of hardwoods (Goldblum & Rigg, 2010; Montesano, Neigh, Macander, Feng,&Noojipady, 2020). Natural disturbances are a prominent feature of the boreal forest, with high severity fires and insect outbreaks occurring on relatively frequent cycles (Angelstam & Kuuluvainen, 2004; Cogbill, 2007) over a range of spatial scales (Gromtsev, 2002; Hunter, 1993; Kasischke et al., 2010a, 2010b, 2010c; Taylor, Carroll, Alfaro, & Safranyik, 2006; Weed, Ayres, & Hicke, 2013). Changes in these natural disturbance regimes—including fire, insect outbreaks, storms, and drought—will play a large role in the future carbon budget of the boreal forest (Kasischke et al., 2010a, 2010b, 2010c; Navarro, Morin, Bergeron, & Girona, 2018).
Hayes, Daniel J.; Butman, David E.; Domke, Grant M.; Fisher, Joshua B.; Neigh, Christopher S.R.; Welp, Lisa R. 2022. Boreal forests. In: Poulter, Benjamin; Canadell, Josep G.; Hayes, Daniel J.; Thompson, Rona L., Eds. Balancing greenhouse gas budgets. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier: 203-236. Chapter 6. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-814952-2.00025-3.