Tundra in North America

The northern coast of the mainland occupies the zone of the tundra. In the west, its southern boundary runs along the Arctic Circle, and in the east direction it moves far to the south to the Hudson Bay. The climate in the tundra is subarctic. Summer in the tundra is short and cool. The soil does not have time to thaw to great depths. Although the rain falls less than in some deserts, because of the low temperatures of the air, the water evaporates little, so that the land is saturated with moisture. Therefore, the tundra is a swamped, treeless area.

Soils of the tundra are infertile tundra-gley. Here there are several hundred species of plants: heather, marsh grass, ledum, etc., berry bushes: blueberries, cranberries, cloudberries. There are no real trees, only dwarfish, barely reaching 5-12 cm: dwarf birch, polar willow, undersized alder. Because of the freezing of the earth, the roots can not grow in depth, but only in the sides. With strong gusts of wind, tall trees could not restrain in the soil.

But the basis of life in the tundra is lichens. They eat herbivores: deer-caribou, muskox, hares, small rodents of lemmings. Rodents are hunted by arctic fox, polar wolf, polar owl, buzzard.

In the south, the tundra passes into the forest-tundra, which is stretched by a strip reaching a width of 200 km, and is an alternation of areas of the tundra and coniferous forests. Forests are mainly located in river valleys.

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Tundra in North America