Arctic desert - a place with a harsh climate, which can survive only the hardiest species of flora and fauna.The snow and ice has to adapt to extreme conditions.Therefore, plants of Arctic deserts are markedly different from most others.They have a special appearance, and increased adaptability.
What are they - Arctic plants?
As a rule, in a polar desert survive mosses, lichens and grasses.Sometimes in the middle of snow and ice, there are real oasis of flowers.Nevertheless, their species is not too much - a little over sixty, and distributed them about half the area of the Arctic.The rest of the territory - a lifeless soil with fragments of stones, which grow only lichens.In areas with very poor soil grow grasses, sedges and moss.Special mention deserve the microscopic algae that live in the eternal ice and every spring stained surface in pale green.In very warm and sheltered from the wind, even rose blossom - of course, much, arctic species known as novosiversiya ice.And in the far north you can find polar poppy flowers.
Features Arctic flora
arctic desert plants vary the rate of photosynthesis at low temperatures - at temperatures down to five degrees they fix half the possible number of carbon dioxide, and continue to do so at a strong cold snap.The most successful in this are cladonia loserogaya stereokaulon and Alpine, who are coping with temperatures below twenty degrees Celsius.Since lichens survive even the harshest tundra zones.Another unique feature of them - pulvinate, creeping structure, through which the plants are pressed to the ground.On the ground, the air temperature is higher than a height of a few meters, so it is much easier to survive.In the bush remain dead leaves and shoots that trap snow, protecting the living parts of ice crystals carried by the wind.In addition, many plants arctic deserts of Russia and other regions characterized by a purple color, to assist in maintaining the heat - the temperature inside the stems can be ten degrees higher than outside.
unusual crowberry shrub
Many plants belong to the shrub tundra.But shiksha, also called crowberry - especially its branches reminiscent of coniferous trees and covered with small leaves, reminiscent of the needles.Yet it is a flowering plant, and in fact it leaves - not needles.Simply, they are narrow, closed tube with stomata - this structure minimizes evaporation from the leaf.His long shoots crowberry spreads far across the land, preserving their form throughout the year, with frosts only changing color to purple-black.As soon as the snow melts in the spring, blooming bush shiksha small flowers, and by the end of summer in their place appeared large black berries with a bluish tinge, and red juice inside.They are edible but quite inexpressive taste, because of what the locals call the plant "crowberry".In the Far North berries mixed with fat seals and dried fish in a dish called tolkusha.
Even those who know all about the Arctic deserts are sometimes surprised that there is growing blueberries.This is true - bushes with bluish leaves can easily be found in the tundra.The shape and size of leaves resemble bilberries, but unlike her, from blueberry leaves fall in autumn.In spring it blooms with white or pinkish flowers no bigger than a pea, is shaped like a pitchers.The fruits resemble large blueberries, but the flesh is greenish.Berries are sweet, in which more than six percent sugar, so locals use blueberries in jelly, pies and jams.By late summer, some parts of the tundra are blue berries, so they can grow much.
Enumerating arctic desert plants, it is worth mentioning the Dryad or kuropatochnuyu grass.It branched plant with sturdy stems that seem shaggy, and its leaves resemble oak leaves, but no longer than the match.They are dense and dark green, and stored throughout the winter, which is not always typical of the arctic desert plants.Discussion Dryads will not be complete without the story of her flowers - they are large and white, with long stalks and wide-open petals.Everyone who first sees kuropatochnuyu grass, surprised the size difference of the plant and its flowers.By the way, the name of the second Dryad obligation that leaves it willingly eat partridge, especially in winter when other fresh herbs in the tundra are often not found.Especially a lot of kuropatochnoy grass in northern tundra.Often it is used as an ornamental plant and planted in rock gardens.
surprising that in such a harsh place as an Arctic desert, typical plants - flowers.The most common of all is the polar poppy flower, which appears in the tundra with the early spring.Under the gusts of icy wind on the ground appear pale yellow flowers, surviving even where other plants are dying and the Arctic deserts are only mosses.Sometimes polar poppies form a whole carpet of golden color.His expressive vitality contrasts with the delicate stalk and thin petals.The stem can reach a length of up to twelve centimeters, but usually it is spread on the ground, getting up only the flower.Like other flowering plants arctic desert, is disproportionate to the different leaf petals, which, however, no bigger than usual poppy flowers.Polar poppy growing in such regions of Russia as an island of Vaigach, Taimyr Peninsula, the Urals, in Yakutia, Magadan and the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.It can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere Arctic zone - in Iceland, Sweden, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Alaska.