Abstract for S12


Temperate to Polar Alpine & Tundra Vegetation
Végétation alpine et de toundra des zones tempérée, boréale et arctique


Temperate to Polar Alpine & Tundra Vegetation occurs above treeline in temperate and boreal regions, predominantly in North America and Eurasia, with more isolated occurrences in the Southern Hemisphere. Creeping, matted and low upright dwarf-shrubs may occur, along with alpine grasses and forbs. The ground layer density varies from densely vegetated to open, rocky, rubbly, or frost-sorted habitats, and includes fell-field, boulderfield, tundra, heath and meadow. Bryophyte and lichen cover also varies considerably. Treeline varies depending on latitudinal shifts in climate, moisture, and type of mountain range, including its size and degree of isolation; for example, from 1650 m in the Andean steppe of Argentina to 3300-3600 m in the Himalayas, Southern Rocky Mountains and Californian Sierra Nevada to 2300 m in the Lesotho Plateau of South Africa.

Source: Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, E. Helmer. 2014. Classification and description of world formation types. Part I (Introduction) and Part II (Description of world formations). Hierarchy Revisions Working Group, Federal Geographic Data Committee, FGDC Secretariat, U.S. Geological Survey. Reston, VA, and NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

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