UW-Madison BOTANY 422 - Tundra and Alpine (9 pages)

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Tundra and Alpine



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Tundra and Alpine

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Pages:
9
School:
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Course:
Botany 422 - Plant Geography

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Tundra and Alpine Tundra Biomes Arctic tundra occurs north of the boreal forest or taiga and thus form a treeless ring south of the zone of permanent ice North America Greenland Eurasia Tundra Biomes Tundras are characteristic of Arctic or Alpine regions where the severity of environmental conditions excludes tree growth 30 days of 10 C ave temperature and 8 mos cold season Tundra Biomes In the Antarctica tundra area is very small because of the lack of large continental masses Develops only on certain small Antarctic islands such as South George and MacQuarie Island on several spots on the most northerly extension of Antarctica proper only 2 flowering plants Deschampsia antarctica Colobanthus quitensis Only 2 angiosperms Antarctic hairgrass pearlwort on north facing slopes with moss and liverworts Antarctic Peninsula 600 mi or 1000 km from South America Tundra Biomes In the wet subAntarctic tussocks and megaherbs are characteristic Tundra Biomes Alpine regions include Rocky Mountains European Alps Himalayas and Austral antarctic area South Island also Tasmania Snowy Mts in Australia Alpine summit Bighorn Natl Forest 9000ft Wyoming with Ranunculus adoneus snow buttercup Megaherb Pleurophyllum speciosum in subantartic Campbell Island Tussock Poa litorosa in subantartic Campbell Island Tundra Biomes Exclude tropical puna in Andes and similar high elevation peaks in East Africa will deal with later Links of Austral antarctic region with puna Azorella Umbelliferae Alpine tundra Summit Lake SW Idaho Springs CO Rydbergia grandiflora Polygonum bistortoides American bistort Tundra Biomes Low precipitation less than 400 mm per year usually only up to 150 mm less rain than most subtropical deserts Subzero temperatures most of the year A short vegetative period of generally less than 50 days between spring and autumn frost Peru puna 4300 ft Azorella Apiaceae Tundra Biomes Tundra Biomes Permanently frozen sub soil Permafrost of variable depth Consequences are physical barrier



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