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The tundra artic plains completely covering most of the earth's lands north of the coniferous forest belt. The tundra's ecosystem is very sensitive. It doesn't have a good ability to restore itself. Controlled by sedge, heath, willow, moss, and lichen. Plains that are pretty much alike, called alpine tundra, occur above the timberline in the high mountains of the world. Even the Antarctic area has a couple of its own arctic regions itself.

The climate of the tundra is characterized by harsh winters. The average temperature in the tundra area is about -27 degrees. But what is even worse are the long night. At nights the lowest temperature

recorded was -67.36 degrees. There are even times in the year when the sun doesn't come up for days. In the tundra we have little snow and even less rainfall. The rainfall is about a quarter inch in a yearly rainfall. Even though the tundra's winters are long a harsh there summers are the shortest season of all. Do to the terrible weather and climate in the tundra their animals and plant life is very limited.

This artic tundra is mainly formed by permafrost, "a layer of permanently frozen subsoil in the ground. Putting frozen ground and flat landscape stops the drainage of water. As the water is being held up on the surface it makes ponds and bogs that give moisture for the plants, or countering the low precipitation. "The periodic freezing and thawing of the soil forms cracks in the ground in regularly patterned polygons". Some areas are not drained very well causing irregular landforms. Some of these landforms like the following hummocks, or knolls, frost boils, and earth stripes. Another common area to the alpine tundra is a "bare rock covered ground" also known as fell fields, in which not alone support but helps the growth of lichens. The many "microhabitats" given by these landforms provide a variety to the tundra's landscape.




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