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Arctic and Alpine Biomes (Greenwood Guides to Biomes of the by Joyce A. Quinn

By Joyce A. Quinn

This quantity within the Greenwood courses to Biomes of the area: sequence covers the biomes at excessive altitudes and close to the poles, together with the arctic tundra biomes, the Mid-Latitude Alpine Tundra Biome (found within the mountain levels of North the USA, Asia, and South America), and the tropical alpine tundra biome (for instance, Hawaii).

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Additional resources for Arctic and Alpine Biomes (Greenwood Guides to Biomes of the World)

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Many tussock-forming grasses, sedges, and rushes form dense clusters. As new shoots grow at the edges, old ones in the center die. 5). As the most important clonal strategy in the world, it is used by carex and kobresia sedges, rushes, hairgrass, fescue, matgrass, bluegrass, and needlegrass. Some graminoids and forbs grow new plants from stolons or rhizomes that extend either below or above ground away from the mother plant. The invasive nature of mint plants and Bermuda grass in a home garden illustrates the efficiency of reproduction by rhizomes.

Distributions and behavior of large animals are also related to snow cover. Snow in the Arctic is reworked by wind into mobile drifts or a crusty cover. While drifting snow may uncover vegetation, herbivores most often must dig through snow to forage. If snow is too crusty, caribou migrate to softer snow at the edge of the forest, but in areas of soft snow, animals do not need to migrate unless it is too deep for easy movement. Others herbivores such as mountain goats in Introduction to Arctic and Alpine Biomes mid-latitude alpine environments browse on subalpine trees and krummholz branches that project above the snow cover.

It is not exceptionally windy in the Arctic, but wind is more noticeable because low vegetation does not block it. Infrequently a warm winter wind will melt snow, which then recrystallizes into a hard crust, preventing animals like muskoxen and lemmings from accessing food. Except for steep slopes, windexposed ridges, and among the tallest shrubs along rivers, most of the Arctic is snow-covered from late August to May or June, or even early July. Tundra Soils Soil development is slow and limited because of little plant cover, a short growing season, permafrost, and the short time land has been free of glacial ice.

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