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    Hi there, there are some things related to the Arctic tundra that I can't quite get my head around.

    1) Why is the arctic and alpine tundra treeless? I don't quite get it... I understand that it's because it's not warm enough and trees don't last long enough in the growing season, but why do plants need warmth? Don't they just need light to photosynethesise and the enzymes don't need heat?

    2) Why is the Tundra just considered as 60o North? What about the Antarctic region and South Pole etc, is that considered as Arctic tundra too?Many thanks.
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    If you ask Google a question, it gives the answer

    http://familyonbikes.org/blog/2012/1...arctic-tundra/
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    If you ask Google a question, it gives the answer

    http://familyonbikes.org/blog/2012/1...arctic-tundra/
    Hey, thanks!

    Buuuuut, the sunlight in the tundra isn't of any change to normality is it? It's the heat, and plants need light to photosynthesise... not heat. That's where I'm confused!
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    In the Arctic regions, you only get a few months of full sunlight. You then get several months in the winter where there is no light at all. The sun never rises very high in the summer either and what light does come in is pretty weak compared to the light at the equator.
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    1) Arctic tundra doesn't have trees because the soil is permanently frozen (permafrost), making it impossible for trees to grow as tree roots and water are unable to penetrate the soil. However, there is a thin layer of soil which isn't frozen above the frozen soil, called the active layer, which is able to support small, low-growing plants like moss, lichen and grass. Alpine tundra is also treeless because this type of tundra is found at high altitudes, which have very harsh climates which are cold and windy, unsuitable for the growth of trees.

    2) Antarctica and other antarctic islands have what is known as Antarctic tundra. Antarctic tundra lacks vegetation as most of Antarctica is covered in ice. The difference between Antarctic and Arctic tundra is the presence of large animals such as polar bears and caribou in Arctic tundra, and lack of large animals in Antarctic tundra.

    I hope that makes things a bit clearer
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    (Original post by MrHarry)
    Hi there, there are some things related to the Arctic tundra that I can't quite get my head around.

    1) Why is the arctic and alpine tundra treeless? I don't quite get it... I understand that it's because it's not warm enough and trees don't last long enough in the growing season, but why do plants need warmth? Don't they just need light to photosynethesise and the enzymes don't need heat?

    2) Why is the Tundra just considered as 60o North? What about the Antarctic region and South Pole etc, is that considered as Arctic tundra too?Many thanks.
    For a start the tundra is too windy, there is no soil for the trees to take in nutrients, and I don't think it ever goes above 0 so the trees, even if they were to be placed in a plant pot there wouldn't be able to take in water as it would all be ice. Also the cells would be frozen all the time so I don't think this would allow the tree to photosynthesise.

    For some species of fern tree which are found in Siberia and other cold places, they may be able to survive the tundra due to antifreeze like properties in the main trunk, but only if they had access to water for parts of the year. To even make this a possibility the tree would need to be planted in a heated plant pot so the water in the plant pot doesn't turn to water.

    I hope this helps. Also when I say the Tundra is windy I am specifically referring to Antartica. Due to there being no cover the trees/saplings, even if they were to grow, would be blown over and die.
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
    1) Arctic tundra doesn't have trees because the soil is permanently frozen (permafrost), making it impossible for trees to grow as tree roots and water are unable to penetrate the soil. However, there is a thin layer of soil which isn't frozen above the frozen soil, called the active layer, which is able to support small, low-growing plants like moss, lichen and grass. Alpine tundra is also treeless because this type of tundra is found at high altitudes, which have very harsh climates which are cold and windy, unsuitable for the growth of trees.


    (Original post by rock_climber86)
    For a start the tundra is too windy, there is no soil for the trees to take in nutrients, and I don't think it ever goes above 0 so the trees, even if they were to be placed in a plant pot there wouldn't be able to take in water as it would all be ice. Also the cells would be frozen all the time so I don't think this would allow the tree to photosynthesise.

    For some species of fern tree which are found in Siberia and other cold places, they may be able to survive the tundra due to antifreeze like properties in the main trunk, but only if they had access to water for parts of the year. To even make this a possibility the tree would need to be planted in a heated plant pot so the water in the plant pot doesn't turn to water.

    I hope this helps. Also when I say the Tundra is windy I am specifically referring to Antartica. Due to there being no cover the trees/saplings, even if they were to grow, would be blown over and die.
    Hi there. Thanks for your help! You've both helped.

    Though, I guess I'm getting a little confused at people saying different things. Is the region treeless because of a combination of the cold, permafrost blocking and lack of sun in some months of the year?

    I now understand that trees cannot grow because of the permafrost and the trees roots being unable to expand through this, but isn't the permafrost below the active layer? And what happens before the treeline; is the permafrost weaker, or does it not exist at all?

    Also with the cold, so the region is simply too cold to grow trees due to water turning to ice? How come other plants are able to grow in the active layer?

    Thanks guys and sorry if I'm appearing an inconvenience, you're very helpful and I'm appreciative!
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    (Original post by MrHarry)
    [/font]



    Hi there. Thanks for your help! You've both helped.

    Though, I guess I'm getting a little confused at people saying different things. Is the region treeless because of a combination of the cold, permafrost blocking and lack of sun in some months of the year?

    I now understand that trees cannot grow because of the permafrost and the trees roots being unable to expand through this, but isn't the permafrost below the active layer? And what happens before the treeline; is the permafrost weaker, or does it not exist at all?

    Also with the cold, so the region is simply too cold to grow trees due to water turning to ice? How come other plants are able to grow in the active layer?

    Thanks guys and sorry if I'm appearing an inconvenience, you're very helpful and I'm appreciative!
    This definition sums it up quite well:

    tun·dra (tŭn′drə)
    n.
    1. A treeless area beyond the timberline in high-latitude regions, having a permanently frozen subsoil and supporting low-growing vegetation such as lichens, mosses, and shrubs.
    2. A similar area found at high elevations.

    Tundra is by definition the treeless bit. Yes there are parts of the siberia where you have lots of trees, and permafrost below a certain level I believe, but the part where the trees grow is still thawed at certain times of the year. The Tundra part is further north of this tree laden region.
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    (Original post by MrHarry)
    [/font]
    Hi there. Thanks for your help! You've both helped.

    Though, I guess I'm getting a little confused at people saying different things. Is the region treeless because of a combination of the cold, permafrost blocking and lack of sun in some months of the year?

    I now understand that trees cannot grow because of the permafrost and the trees roots being unable to expand through this, but isn't the permafrost below the active layer? And what happens before the treeline; is the permafrost weaker, or does it not exist at all?

    Also with the cold, so the region is simply too cold to grow trees due to water turning to ice? How come other plants are able to grow in the active layer?

    Thanks guys and sorry if I'm appearing an inconvenience, you're very helpful and I'm appreciative!
    Yes, the extremely low temperatures, permafrost and lack of sun all make it too difficult for trees to grow. The active layer is above the permafrost, and water is able to drain into it to sustain small plants like grass, lichen and moss, which can tolerate the low temperatures and only have short growing seasons, unlike trees.

    The plants which can survive in tundra environments also have different adaptations which allow them to grow, including small leaves to limit water loss through transpiration, short roots to avoid the permafrost, tolerance of low temperatures and moisture-deficiency (due to water being locked in ice for most of the year), and short life cycles of 50-60 days.

    At the tree line, temperatures become too cold to allow trees to grow, due to either increasing altitude or latitude, and if temperatures are low enough, the formation of permafrost will prevent tree roots from going deep enough to give the trees sufficient support, making it too difficult for trees to survive.

    This is my understanding anyway
 
 
 
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