What is tundra vegetation

As Tundra or Cold steppe is the name given to the treeless vegetation zone between the taiga (boreal coniferous forest) and the cold desert. The term tundra comes from Russian and means "treeless highlands". Worldwide, the tundra areas make up between 3-4% of the land mass of the earth's surface.

Using the so-called tree line, you can see where the taiga ends and the tundra begins. Due to the climatic conditions, trees no longer grow beyond the tree line. Instead, lichens, mosses, grasses, ferns, herbs and small shrubs determine the landscape of the cold steppe.
There is a reason for the lack of trees: The permafrost soil (permanently frozen ground) prevents trees from taking root in the soil. On the other hand, trees are unable to absorb water from frozen ground, which is why only very resistant plants can thrive on the freezing cold ground.

The average annual temperature in the cold steppes is between 15 ° C and -5 ° C. So there are freezing temperatures almost all year round, with some significant fluctuations. In Siberia, temperatures down to -50 ° C are possible and snow is usually more than eight months a year. Despite the cold environmental conditions, some large mammals live in the habitats there, including arctic hare, arctic fox, elk, reindeer, wolves and even polar bears.

Worldwide, depending on the location, a distinction is made between three different tundras. The main difference lies in the occurrence of flora and fauna. The climatic conditions, however, hardly differ noticeably.
Antarctic tundra: Tundras in the southern hemisphere (mainly the Antarctic; otherwise Tierra del Fuego, the Falkland Islands and other sub-Antarctic islands)
Arctic tundra: Tundras in the northern hemisphere (Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Russia)
Alpine tundra: all tundras in mountains, away from the Arctic and Antarctic cold steppes (e.g. Andes, Alps, Himalayas). The respective altitudes can vary greatly: from around 2000m in the Alps and from 4000m in the Himalayas.