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By John C. Dewdney and W. B. Fisher (Auth.)

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T h u s t h e soils a r e less acid t h a n those of t h e t a i g a a n d , b e c a u s e p l a n t g r o w t h is m o r e l u x u r i a n t , t h e o r g a n i c c o n t e n t of t h e u p p e r h o r i z o n s is g r e a t e r . T h e p r e d o m i n a n t trees over t h e z o n e as a w h o l e a r e oak a n d s p r u c e , t h o u g h a w i d e v a r i e t y of o t h e r species also occurs i n c l u d i n g h o r n b e a m , ash, m a p l e , A Geography of the Soviet Union 32 l i n d e n , b i r c h a n d a s p e n .

T h e h i g h e r p a r t s of t h e m o u n t a i n s of Soviet C e n t r a l Asia a n d s o u t h - w e s t S i b e r i a illustrate t h e effect of a l t i t u d e on p r e c i p i t a t i o n , a m o u n t s r a n g i n g from 4 0 0 m m in t h e foothills to 1250 m m or m o r e on t h e h i g h e r p e a k s . I n t h e F a r E a s t , t h e s u m m e r m o n s o o n is responsible for h e a v y r a i n o n t h e S i k h o t e - A l i n ' a n d in t h e K a m c h a t k a p e n i n s u l a .

D e s e r t T h i s e x t e n d s from t h e n o r t h e r n a n d e a s t e r n shores of t h e C a s p i a n to t h e foothills of t h e A l a y a n d T y a n ' S h a n ' m o u n t a i n s . A c o m b i n a t i o n of low a n n u a l rainfall, cold b u t short w i n t e r s a n d long, e x t r e m e l y h o t s u m m e r s w i t h intense e v a p o r a t i o n results in h i g h l y a l k a l i n e soils a n d a p o o r , t h i n v e g e t a t i o n cover. T h e r e a r e several different types of desert.

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