Virtual Biome: Subalpine Tundra

This 360 º virtual biome tour is on the top of Murphy Dome, Fairbanks North Star Borough.


The subalpine is characterized by dwarf shrubs, with the genus Dryas (Mountain Avens) sometimes dominant. Dwarf shrubs other then Dryas include Vaccinium vitis-idea, V. uligonosum, Cassiope tetragona, Arctostaphylos alpina, and A. rubra and prostrate willows Salix reticulata and S. phebophylla. At Murphy Dome in the Interior  Betula nana stands are extensive. Graminoids such as Hierochloe alpina, Trisetum spicatum, Carex microchaeta, and C, scirpoidea may be present, but provide little cover. Mosses are usually present in small quantities, and lichens (Cetraria cucullata, Cetraria ssp., Cladina alpestris, Thamnolia spp., Sterocaulon spp.) may be common but not co-dominant. Trees are absent, and shrubs taller than 20 centimeters are absent or provide less than 25% cover. Plant cover ranges from sparse to complete.