Alpine Biome

By: Scott Broder and Bryce McCracken

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The Alpine Biome is located on mountain ranges worldwide, usually starting at an altitude of 10,000 feet and higher. The Alpine Biome is usually located just below the snow line of a mountain.


The weather in the summer averages between 40-60* and the temperatures in the winter average below freezing. The alpine biome is a fairly dry biome with an average of 12 inches of rain a year.


There are only about 200 species of Alpine plants. There are many challenges plants and animals living in the biome face. A challenge is that at high altitudes there is very little Carbon Dioxide, which plants need to carry on photosynthesis. Because of the cold and wind, most plants are small groundcover plants which grow and reproduce slowly. They protect themselves from the cold and wind by hugging the ground. Taller plants or trees would soon get blown over and freeze. When plants die they don't decompose very quickly because of the cold. This makes for poor soil that’s sandy and rocky. So most Alpine plants have adapted to where they grow in rocky and sandy soil.

Animals that live in the Alpine biome usually have to deal with the cold and too much high UV wavelengths. The Alpine animals have to deal with this because there is less atmosphere to filter UV rays from the sun. There are only warm-blooded animals in the alpine although there are some insects. Animals have adapted to the cold by hibernating, migrating to warmer and lower areas to get stay sheltered. They also try to insulate their bodies more by having layers of fat. Alpine animals also adapt by having bigger lungs, more blood cells, and hemoglobin for the lack of oxygen and pressure at higher altitudes. Also physical adaptations could include shorter legs, tails, and ears in order to reduce losing as much heat as possible.


Variations are a difference of an organism caused by a genotypic or phenotypic variation. An example of variation is a Llama and an Alpaca. The Llama and the Alpaca are in the same family but scientists think that the Vicuna might be an ancestor of the Alpaca. The Vicuna is a member of the camel family.

How organisms uniquely adapted/varied due to it’s environment

Alpine Mountain animals have to adapt to the cold by hibernating, migrating to warmer areas, or insulating their bodies with layers of fat and fur. Animals also adapt by having shorter legs/arms to help insulate their body heat as much as possible. Alpine Mountain plants have to protect themselves from the cold and wind by hugging close to the ground.

Interdependency between organisms

The Interdependency of organisms is the mutual relationship between two organisms in an environment. So basically the Interdependency between organisms means the relying on of the other organisms in the mutual relationship.The five forms of Interdependency are Mutualism, Parasitism, Commensalism, Predation, and Competition. An example of mutualism is a hummingbird and a flower, the hummingbird will drink the flower's nectar and in return the hummingbird will distribute the pollen from the plant to other species of that plant. An of Parasitism is a tapeworm and a human, the tapeworm will stick itself to the side of the human lung and will deprive it of it's nutrients. A parasite always needs it's host to survive so it won't kill. An example of Commensalism is a deer and starlings, the grazing deer will flush out insects from the grass and the starlings will eat the insects. An example of Predation is when a hawk eats a small animal for food, but what if a snake is now fighting the hawk for that small animal, this is Competition.
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