Drawing from a decade-long collaboration between Japan and Russia, this important volume presents the first major synthesis of current knowledge on the ecophysiology of the coniferous forests growing on permafrost at high latitudes. It presents ecological data for a region long inaccessible to most scientists, and raises important questions about the global carbon balance as these systems are affected by the changing climate. Making up around 20% of the entire boreal forests of the northern hemisphere, these permafrost forest ecosystems are subject to particular constraints in terms of temperature, nutrient availability, and root space, creating exceptional ecosystem characteristics not known elsewhere. This authoritative text explores their diversity, structure, dynamics and physiology. It provides a comparison of these forests in relation to boreal forests elsewhere, and concludes with an assessment of the potential responses of this unique biome to climate change. The book will be invaluable to advanced students and researchers interested in boreal vegetation, forest ecology, silviculture and forest soils, as well as to researchers into climate change and the global carbon balance.