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 US, Asia, and South America), and the tropical alpine tundra biome (for instance, Hawaii).
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Extra resources for Arctic and Alpine Biomes (Greenwood Guides to Biomes of the World)
Ptarmigan, one of the few winter bird residents, can burrow into soft snow or migrate to taller willows for food or shelter. Most predatory birds migrate, but Snowy Owls hunt where snow is thin or at rodent air holes through the snow. Mammal predators such as wolves migrate with the prey, but arctic fox and least weasel remain on the tundra to hunt the occasional rodent. Reproduction Because most mammals, unlike birds, in both the arctic and alpine environments are nonmigratory, or only travel a short distance like caribou to the forest edges, the short growing season plays only an indirect role in reproduction.
Large, concave hoofs give support in deep snow or marshy land, and a thick coat with hollow hairs provides insulation. The caribou winter diet consists of starchy lichens rich in carbohydrates, which gives them energy to survive the cold. During spring and summer, they eat high-protein shoots of sedges, grasses, dwarf willows, and birches. Mouth muscles sort living from dead plant tissue; indigestible parts are spit out. To avoid overgrazing one area, the animals continually migrate in large herds of thousands, trampling the landscape along regular routes up to 500 miles (800 km) long.
The plant grows larger as prostrate branches root where they touch the ground. Because they have a short structure of woody twigs, cushions and mats are often called tiny shrubs. Rosettes, such as tundra dandelion, are a major type of leafy forb. They grow flat to the ground, sometimes closer to the ground than cushions or mats, in the warmest microenvironments. Overlapping leaves, which form a circular pattern on a very short stem, present maximum exposure of leaves to light. Smaller rosettes are offset from the mother plant.