How is plant life adapted to survive in freezing Arctic temperatures? A limited number of species including algae and lichens are able to survive all year round.

On Ellesmere Island, the water is frozen and for six months of the year it is dark. The presenter, Sir David Attenborough, describes how algae live within rocks and lichens live on rock surfaces. Elsewhere small mustard flowers grow, summer streams produce garlands of flowers that grow close to the ground. A type of willow tree grows horizontally and the Arctic poppy follows the movement of the Sun to absorb heat.

This clip is from:
Bitesize Secondary, Darwin
First broadcast:
11 March 2009

You may want to begin by asking students "How does plant life survive in freezing Arctic temperatures?" Encourage them to focus upon the various plants that are introduced and their adaptations. Students could also be asked to list the four named things that plants need to grow.