More than 45% of Russia's area is occupied by various forests (almost 8 million sq. km.).
Most of the forests (about 80%) are located in Central Siberia and the Far East. The most wooded regions are the Irkutsk, Amur, Sakhalin, Vologda, Kostroma regions, the Primorsk, Khabarovsk and Trans-Baikal Territories and the Komi Republic.
Due to the different amounts of light and heat available throughout the territory, separate districts are formed with their own soil and climate features. This leads to the formation of natural areas with unique vegetation. Hence, in Russia, natural areas with coniferous (taiga) and mixed deciduous forests were formed. They are dominated by conifers (80%) – larch, pine, spruce, cedar, but there are small-leaved (15%) – aspen, alder, birch, maple, poplar, linden and broad-leaved (5%) – oak, beech, hornbeam and ash. Area of forests distribution is from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific coast. Moreover, in the European part spruce and deciduous forests prevail, and in the east are the main reserves of cedar and pine.
Forest accumulates solar energy, biological mass, produces oxygen and cleans the near-Earth atmosphere. In addition, it is difficult to overestimate its importance for the soil and water flows. The forest is not only source of wood, but also the masses of important products – mushrooms, medicinal herbs, fruits, flowers and nuts. It is also home to a huge number of animals, birds, insects and other living creatures. The pride of the Primorsky Territory is the Ussuri taiga, where the Ussurian tiger can be found, and there are only a few dozen of them left in the wild nature.
The wood itself in itsround (untreated) form has a significant economic and social value. It is used in all types of construction, ore and coal industry, transport, communications, hydraulic structures. In the Russian taiga even oil and gas are extracted.
Now there is a serious problem of massive deforestation (legal and poaching), and, as a result, this leads to death of birds, animals, the general ecosystem’s deterioration. Therefore, it is important not only to take care of the forest and its inhabitants, but also to preserve its diversity for our descendants.