Arctic and Alpine Biomes

Arctic and Alpine Biomes

Arctic and Alpine Biomes

Arctic and Alpine Biomes

Synopsis

This volume in the "Greenwood Guides to Biomes of the World" series covers the biomes at high altitudes and near the poles, including the arctic tundra biomes, the Mid-Latitude Alpine Tundra Biome (found in the mountain ranges of North America, Asia, and South America), and the tropical alpine tundra biome (for example, Hawaii).

Excerpt

In the course of traveling throughout the United States and the world, I have been fortunate to experience arctic and alpine environments firsthand. I have visited Lapland and the Land of the Midnight Sun, climbed mountains in the Sierra Nevada and the Pyrenees, and hiked over many high passes in the mountains of North America, Europe, and Asia. Walking through a flower-filled meadow and hearing the whistle of a marmot from a rock pile is a treat for the senses.

This book can be only an introduction to a vast topic that would take volumes to thoroughly explore. It covers a small part of the variety in the natural world, much of which is at risk because of human activities, whether purposeful or inadvertent. A little knowledge of a subject arouses curiosity—a desire to learn more. And as one learns more, the subject takes on greater importance. Conservation issues become more meaningful when the public is aware of the interactions among elements in the natural world. Hopefully, the information in these pages will instill an appreciation for arctic and alpine environments and their natural inhabitants. Instead of seeing individual plants in a botanic garden or animals in captivity, readers will have a feeling for the value of each in its natural place in the world.

Arctic and alpine biomes are the cold regions beyond the limit of tree growth, either because of latitude or elevation. The first chapter explains elements, such as temperature, precipitation, and forms of life, common to the Arctic, Antarctic, and alpine regions. It also mentions differences, which are elaborated on in subsequent chapters. Selected geographic regions are described in chapters dealing with Arctic and Antarctic, mid-latitude alpine environments, and tropical alpine regions.

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