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21. Outbreaks forest-destroying plagues have come in the form of spruce-bark beetles, aspen-leaf miners, larch sawflies, spruce budworms, and spruce coneworms -- all of which have been worsening in recent years due in large part to the warming of the average temperature.

22. There are two major types of boreal forest -- the closed canopy forest in the South which has the longest, warmest growing season of the biome, and the high boreal forest with farther-spaced trees and lichen groundcover.

23. Logging has played its role on the boreal forest, with large swaths of Siberia's taiga harvested for lumber after the fall of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile in Canada, logging companies are under constraints, yet many still practice clearcutting, a strategy that is harsh on the forest ecosystem.

24. Most companies harvesting timber in Canada are certified by third parties, such as the Forest Stewardship Council. You will often see "FSC certified" on products made from sustainably harvested wood.

25. Last year, an historic agreement among 20 major timber companies and 9 environmental groups brought about a plan to protect 170 million acres of boreal forest in Canada. It was named the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.

26. Canada still has 91% of the forest cover that existed at the beginning of European settlement. Conversely, only 5% of the boreal in Scandinavia remains.

27. The largest area of wetlands in any ecosystem of the world is found in the Canadian boreal region, containing more lakes and rivers than any similarly sized landmass on earth!

28. The word "boreal" might be most familiar because of the phenomenon aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, which is a natural light display seen in high latitudes.

29. The aurora borealis was named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621. However, the Cree call this phenomenon the "Dance of the Spirits".

30. While the aurora borealis can cause changes in temperature and wind inside and near the aurora, none of these disturbances reach down to where the weather takes place and so it does not impact any of the boreal, or taiga, over which it occurs.

 

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