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1,500 Species Cling To Arctic Land
The conditions on the tundra are harsh. High winds are abrasive, the growing season is short, temperatures are low with frequent freeze-thaw fluctuations, and the soil is shallow and often sterile. Nevertheless, there is a surprising richness of plant life - about 1,500 species of Arctic flora have developed that somehow manage to survive in such difficult conditions.
Tiny lichens, mosses, grasses and flowering plants spring up and cover the ground where they can find conditions that offer even the slightest amount of encouragement.
If nutrients are lacking in the soil, the plants squeeze out nourishment where they can. Areas below seabird nesting colonies and near human settlements become more fertile, and plants spring up there, often dramatically contrasting with the landscape elsewhere.
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Library: Arctic, Arctic Birds, Land
Maps: Arctic Treeline
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports
DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?