Central Asia: Geography, culture and economy
Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of area covered. The gigantic size of this country has made it exhibit monotony and diversity in its physical and human geography. The eastern plains of Russia from north to south are covered sequentially by tundra, taiga or coniferous forests, mixed forests with trees that have characteristic broad leaves, steppe or grasslands and a semi desert on the fringes of the Caspian Sea. These changes in vegetation are mainly as a result of climate changes. The eastern European plain covers most of European Russia. The western Siberian plain is the largest plain in the world, and stretches from the Urals to Yenisei River (Rowntree, 2011). The topography and vegetation is usually very uniform in the natural zones. Russia therefore presents a delusion of uniformity. Most of the major vegetation zones of the world are found in Russia except tropical rain forest (Rowntree, 2011). Nearly 11 % of Russia is tundra. This type of vegetation is tree-less and is found in the north most part of Russia extending from the border with Finland in the west to the Bering Strait to the east. This stretch the covers from Kamchatka peninsula in the north to the Pacific coast in the south. The taiga is the vastest natural region in Russia. Covers eastern Russia and western Siberia plains to the north and accounts for 60% of Russia (Rowntree, 2011). Very few tracts of land in the taiga are agriculturally viable. Those suitable for farming are located in the European fraction of Russia. The taiga is however the world’s biggest reserve of coniferous forests. A large section of the mixed forest has been cleared for agricultural purposes due to its agriculture potential. This is especially in Eastern Europe. The steppe is also favorable for agriculture due to modest temperatures and sufficient amount of sunshine and moisture. However, the area is at times...
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