Virtual Biome: Interior Forest

This 360 º virtual biome tour is located on the south facing side of Murphy Dome.


The white spruce (Picea glauca)- paper birch (Betula neoalaskana) forests cover 32 % of Alaska (= 42.4 million hectares). Climate in the Interior is extreme with mean annual temperatures ranging from -7 °C to -20 ° C, with winter temperatures below -40 °C common, and the coldest average winter months temperatures from -23 to -29 °C.

The paper-birch forest type is dominated by paper birch (Betula neoalaskana) and forms pure stands of this tree, or more often is mixed with white spruce (Picea glauca), aspen (Populus tremuloides), or black spruce (Picea mariana). Common shrubs in paper-birch forests include narrow-leaf labrador tea (Ledum decumbens), labrador tea (Ledum procumbens), American red currant (Ribes triste), prickly rose (Rosa acicularis), Bebb willow (Salix bebbiana), mountain cranberry (Vacciunium vitis-idea), highbush cranberry (Viburnum edule), and others.