The evergreen plants of coniferous forests take a head start to spring
Evergreen conifers – the Scots pine and the Norway spruce – take a head start to spring. Instead of having to wait for warm weather to open their leaves, their needles can start photosynthesising and growing immediately once there is enough light and the temperature rises above zero. The mosses covering the ground are likewise immediately ready for the new growing season. In the field layer, the evergreen lingonberry emerges from under the snow with leaves at the ready, whereas the bilberry has to wait a while for its leaves to sprout. Luckily it can start photosynthesising with its chlorophyll-filled stems in the meantime.