Alaskan Tundra Facts

Mount McKinley in Alaska.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The word "tundra" translates to "treeless heights" and means ecosystems that have no trees and cold temperatures. Tundra exists in Alaska's northern and western coasts.

Climate

Woman walking in snow.
••• Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

The Alaskan tundra boasts an average annual temperature colder than five degrees Fahrenheit and receives less than four inches of precipitation a year.

Plants

Few plants grow in Alaska's cold climate.
••• Feng Yu/iStock/Getty Images

Plants survive the harsh conditions of the tundra by going dormant through winter, growing protective coatings, or retaining old leaves for nutrition. Some plants found in the Alaskan tundra include the arctic dryad, arctic poppy, wooly lousewort, Labrador tea, and arctic birch.

Animals

Brown bear in Alaska.
••• Byrdyak/iStock/Getty Images

Animals have adapted to the Alaskan tundra by developing warm winter coats, compact bodies to preserve heat, and camouflage for different seasons. Some animals found on the Alaskan tundra include caribou, arctic fox, arctic hare, arctic ground squirrel, and arctic grizzly bear.

Features

Frozen tundra.
••• Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images

Alaskan tundra does not have any trees. It is also very windy and has dramatic seasonal changes, including drastic changes in daylight hours throughout the year.

Threats

Pollution threatens the tundra.
••• Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Alaska's tundra is threatened by airborne pollutants, oil and gas development, and global warming.

Related Articles

What Are the Eight Main Ecosystems?
Plants & Animals in Deciduous Forests
What Foods Do Animals Eat in the Tundra?
What Are the Causes of the Destruction of Ecosystem?
Common Russian Plants & Animals
Plant Adaptations in the Tundra
Facts About the Rainforest Layers
Animals That Live in the Tropical Forest That Are Omnivores
What Are the Major Types of Terrestrial Ecosystems?
Facts About Ironwood Trees
What Are the 8 Ecosystems?
Landforms of the Grasslands Biome
Native Plants & Animals of France
Forest Ecosystem Classification
Plants & Animals That Live in the Tundra
Why Are Trees Important to the Ecosystem?
Definition of a Land Ecosystem
Plant & Animal Adaptations in Temperate Forests
Animals in Forest Ecosystems
Red Maple Tree Facts