Athro Limited, Education on the Web
 Dry bits on Wet Tundra 
Dry spot on hummock illustrating extreem short distance variation in ecology on tundra landforms.

Top of a slightly elevated rise in the tundra

On local high points, even wet tundra is very dry - with very little moisture available and a flora that looks like that found on mountaintops in temperate climates. Here, just a meter or so above standing water, is very dry soil covered with a profuse variety of lichens and only a very few hardy grasses and other plants.

Lichen in dry spot, tundra about 30 miles south west Barrow on the north slope of Alaska.

Lichen in dry spot

Here on the top of a slight rise in the tundra, the ground is covered with lichens. There are no bundles of green sedges here, and no indication that just a few meters away and just a meter or so lower can be found very rich lush vegitation.

Red lichen with isidia?

A red lichen with isidia

This is a lichen. The tall stalks are topped by its fruiting bodies.

You are on a high point on the tundra.
From here you can:
Go back to overview of tundra.
Move down half a meter to look at moderate elevations.
Move down a meter to look at low points on the tundra.

Part of the Athro, Limited web site.
Go to begining of this field trip.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000 Athro, Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Written by Paul J. Morris
Maintained by Athro Limited Date Created: 10 Dec 1998
Last Updated: 22 Jan 2000