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Alpine Biome

Updated on October 22, 2011

What Is A Biome?

Communities of different species living together under certain climatic conditions are called an ecosystem.

The complex interaction of specific plants and animals, living in the ecosystem, climate, geology etc constitute to give a biome. In short, a biome is defined as particular set of animals and plants living together in a particular habitat under climatic conditions unique to their environment and their interaction with it.

Types Of Biomes

The earth has different environments and different regions have different climates. A biome is categorized according to the habitats of plants and animals.

Following are few types of biomes on earth:

Alpine Biomes

The word alpine is derived from the Latin word “alpes” which means “high mountains”. So it is obvious that alpine biomes are related to mountains.

Alpine biomes are the biomes found in the mountains all over the world. They are located usually at the altitude of 10000 feet or at times even more, just below the mountain line of a mountain.

The Climate Of An Alpine Biome

Being on the high altitude the climatic conditions of an alpine biome are definitely harsh. It has a cold and windy throughout the year.

The summers are much better and the temperature range for the summers is about 10-15 degrees and it starts from June ending in October.

The winter season is extremely harsh and lasts from October to May. The temperature stays below the freezing point through the winters. 

The Plants Of Alpine Biomes

Due to its extreme cold weather the plants found in an alpine biome are the ones that suit well to these conditions. So the trees usually found in an alpine biome are the coniferous trees, the conifers such as pines are furs are adapted well to cold environments.

These trees have needles that act as leaves and do the work of photosynthesis. They also have the ability to shed snow easily. However there a limit up to where the trees can exist in an alpine biome.

Above that plants such as mosses and succulent are found, other that that sunflowers, few saprophytic plants and lichens are also found.

The Animals Of An Alpine Biome

The animals found in an alpine biome are pretty much the same as found. But these animals here have adapted themselves to the cold climate.

Some of the famous animals found in an alpine biome are: mountain goats, Stellar’s jay, chickaree and hoary marmot. Also the bird Clark’s nutcracker is found feeding on pine seeds.

The Adaptations Made By Plants And Animals Of Alpine Biomes

It is in the nature of living things to adapt themselves to their environment. Over the years these animals have made certain changes in themselves in order to adjust themselves to their environment. The animals and plants of an alpine biome live under severe harsh conditions and there are certain adaptations made by them to adjust..

Due to low level of carbon dioxide, the small perennial plants grow undercover reproducing slowly. The animals in the alpine biome are usually the warm-blooded animals which accumulate layers of fat to insulate their bodies. The insects and some very few cold blooded animals are usually hibernating or living underground or traveling down further to the warmer areas during the extreme conditions.

Most of the plants found in an alpine biome are much more succulent that is having the ability to store water due to the dry conditions. These plants also have thick leaves and usually have thick cuticles to prevent the water loss.

The humans of alpine biomes have an increased capacity to carry oxygen in their hemoglobin and their lifestyle is adjusted according to the cold environment which is portrayed in their way of dressing and eating.

Threats Faced By Alpine Biome And The Animals Living There

The increase in the population of human beings over the times has lead to the change in the natural environment of the planet earth.

Over the years the man made inventions and activities has completely shaken the earths system. The increase in pollution which is a result of the increased population has resulted in phenomenon such as acid rain which is extremely dangerous to all the biomes. 

The acid rain is a great threat to the alpine biome by sterilizing the mountain lakes which already have a low buffer capacity.

The greatest threat however faced by the alpine biome is the global warming. The increase in temperature due to global warming the meting of snow occurs which causes a lot of trouble to the cold loving animals that have to move further up the altitude to survive.

It is believed that if the process continues the alpine biomes would soon be finished from the face of the earth forever.

Some Info About Alpine Tundra Region

Comments

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    • profile image

      Thomas 

      21 months ago

      This did not help

    • profile image

      applelover 

      7 years ago

      omg me too, apples for life.

    • Nick Gauthier profile image

      Nick Gauthier 

      7 years ago from Bronx, NY

      Extremely good hub, sir! I teach biology at a college and I may use this page in my classroom.

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      Poblo sanchez 

      7 years ago

      I like apples

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