Taiga (/ˈtaɪɡə/; Russian: тайга́; IPA: [tɐjˈɡa]; from Turkic) also known as boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces and larches.The taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States (northern Minnesota through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Upstate New York and northern New England), where it is known as the Northwoods. In Eurasia, it covers most of Sweden, Finland, much of Norway, some lowland/coastal areas of Iceland, much of Russia from Karelia in the west to the Pacific Ocean (including much of Siberia), and areas of northern Kazakhstan, northern Mongolia, and northern Japan (on the island of Hokkaidō). However, the main tree species, the length of the growing season and summer temperatures vary. For example, the taiga of North America mostly consists of spruces; Scandinavian and Finnish taiga consists of a mix of spruce, pines and birch; Russian taiga has spruces, pines and larches depending on the region, while the Eastern Siberian taiga is a vast larch forest.A different use of the term taiga is often encountered in the English language, with ""boreal forest"" used in the United States and Canada to refer to only the more southerly part of the biome, while ""taiga"" is used to describe the more barren areas of the northernmost part of the biome approaching the tree line and the tundra biome. Hoffman (1958) discusses the origin of this differential use in North America and why it is an inappropriate differentiation of the Russian term. Although at high elevations taiga grades into alpine tundra through Krummholz, it is not an alpine biome only like subalpine forest, and much of taiga is lowlands.