The coniferous forest biome is south of the Arctic tundra. It stretches from Alaska straight across North America to the Atlantic Ocean and across Eurasia. The largest stretch of coniferous forest in the world, circling the earth in the Northern Hemisphere, is called the “taiga.” It supplies the bulk of the world's commercial softwood timber, which is used to make paper.
These forests consist mainly of cone-bearing trees such as spruce, hemlock, and fir, which are well suited to the cold climate. The soil is not very fertile, however, because there are no leaves to decompose and enrich it. Some animals that thrive in this biome are the ermine, the moose, the red fox, the snowshoe rabbit, and birds such as the crossbill and the great horned owl.