Montane Coniferous Forests

Last Updated: January 22, 2017

Definition - What does Montane Coniferous Forests mean?

Montane coniferous forests are found in the sub-alpine zone of the Appalachian Mountains and consist of communities of birch, aspen, jack pine, red spruce and frazier fir. The forests are naturally adapted to fire, with many of the species having thick, fire-resistant bark. However, human impacts including fire suppression, farming and mining pose a threat to the habitat occupied by montane coniferous forests.

Safeopedia explains Montane Coniferous Forests

Montane coniferous forests occupy three distinct climate zones, namely, cold, sub-alpine regions, upper montane zones that have a longer growing season and lower montane zones that have higher rainfall. Animals commonly found in these habitats include deer and black bears. The soil is generally rocky and stony. Englemann spruce, fir and bristle cone pine are typical of sub-alpine areas, while upper montane regions are home to the quaking aspen and lodge pole pine. The lower montane regions are characterized by mountain hemlock, red fir, lodge pole pine and ponderosa pine.

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