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Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Forbs and low shrubs near the summit of Mt. Charleston

Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)

Non-technical description: The Alpine Life Zone is characterized by low-growing vegetation (prostrate shrubs, grasses, and forbs) on the highest mountaintops where the climate (winds and cold) is too hostile for trees.

The Alpine Tundra zone occurs at the highest elevations where the climate is brutal and the growing season is short and interrupted. Trees are absent. The vegetation is dominated by low-growing forbs, sedges, bunchgrasses, and short-stemmed woody shrubs. Common forb species include alpine avens (Geum rossii), Silene acaulis, Eriogonum spp., Draba spp.; sedges include various species of Carex; grasses include tufted hair grass (Deschampsia caespitosa), Trisetum spicatum, Agropyron scribneri, Festuca ovina, Phleum alpinum; and shrubs include willow (Salix spp.).

Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Near the summit of Mt. Charleston. The last of the bristlecone pine are bent by the wind and snow.
In the Las Vegas area, the Alpine Tundra association occurs in the Spring Mountains (Mount Charleston) at elevations over about 11,500 feet. Other peaks in the area may have treeless summits, but they don't have the elevation for Alpine Tundra.
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Snow lingers long into summer in the Alpine zone.
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Lots of low-growing forbs above timberline
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Lots of low-growing forbs above timberline
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Few low-growing shrubs survive above timberline
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Lots of low-growing forbs above timberline
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Lots of low-growing forbs above timberline
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Bristlecone Pines fading out at timberline
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Shrubby Bristlecone Pine at timberline
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone) Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)
Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone) Alpine Tundra (Alpine Life Zone)

All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 111002

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