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Alpine tundra plants are mostly seed propagated. Both environments’ topography plays important roles in density of vegetation. On artic tundra, steep slopes facing the equator and river bo�oms support the most luxurious shrubs, grasses, and legumes (although artic luxury is still slim) while gentle slopes are dominated by co�on grass. Alpine tundra is thickest along the equatorial facing slopes (more light hits those slopes) and along drainage runs. Primary production on the tundra is very low in comparison to other biomes.

This vegetation (along with the layer of undecomposed needles) acts as an insulator to the permafrost. The colder the soil becomes, the more the permafrost moves towards the surface, and the less soil is available to tree roots. During periods of early warm weather, the roots are still encased in the permafrost, but the tree is loosing water through its leaves. This leads to “winter kill” where a tree dehydrates while standing in moist soil because its roots are still encased in ice and can’t replenish its water needs.

Year a�er year, decade a�er decade of freezing and thawing push the rocks and debris together, forming a hex map across the land. Creatures arriving on these plains for the first time are bound to be amazed and wonder what type of being created them. Alpine tundras have very li�le permafrost and that is mostly at very high elevations. Alpine tundra is not usually as wet as artic tundra because the steeper topography allows the thawed water to flow down the mountainside instead of staying on the surface.

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A magical medieval society - ecology & culture

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