Plant adaptations

In order for plants to survive in cold environments they have had to adapt to the extreme conditions found there. These unique adaptations include:

  • Cushion plants - these are compact, low growing plants. These characteristics help them to survive in cold and windy conditions. They trap airborne dust and use it as a source of nutrients.
  • Arctic poppy - this has a hairy stem to retain heat. The flower can track the sun in the sky to maximise the amount of sunlight it receives so that it can increase photosynthesis.
  • Cotton grass - this grass has small seeds that can easily be dispersed by the wind to ensure its survival. It is low lying to protect it from cold winds and has thin leaves to reduce water loss by transpiration. Cotton grass grows and produces seeds quickly as soon as the temperature increases.
  • Lichen - this organism does not need soil to grow. It grows very slowly, can withstand very cold temperatures and survives beneath snow.
Cushion plants

Cushion plants