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Arctic tundra occurs in the far Northern Hemisphere. The word "tundra" usually refers only to the areas where the subsoil is permafrost, or permanently frozen soil. Permafrost tundra includes vast areas of northern Russia and Canada.
Arctic tundra contains areas keeping frozen for much of the year, making it impossible for trees to grow, only suitable for low growing plants such as moss, heath and lichen.
Taiga or boreal forest is the world´s largest biome, which is characterized by coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces, and larches. After the tundra and permanent ice caps, taiga is the terrestrial biome with the lowest annual average temperatures. Extreme winter minimums in the northern taiga are typically lower than those of the tundra. Taiga has a subarctic climate with very large temperature range between seasons. Some communities live in a mixed tundra/taiga ecosystem.