Mountains The Alps, Europe

Climate of the Alps

Average rainfall: 1" Min, 4" Max

Average temperature: Min 20°F, Max 46°F

There are two distinct seasons in the alps, summer, which lasts from June to September, and winter, lasting from October to May. The winter is cold with high amounts of wind, snow and ice.

Net Primary Productivity

The alpine mountains are in a deciduous forest biome, which are usually located between 40 and 50 degrees north of the equator. Deciduous forest biomes have around 6000 kilocalories per square meter per year of Net Primary Productivity, meaning that this biome produces a good amount more useful chemicals than savannas, temperate grasslands, boreal forests, polar tundras and deserts.

Soil Quality

Depending on the area, the alps can have fertile soil. In the valleys, farmers usually grow grapes for wine, since they can withstand the cold temperatures. In other areas, It is common to grow wheat. Many species of vegetation is also able to grow in this area and large, lush pastures are common.

Invasive Species: Common Ragweed

The common ragweed has become an invasive species for accidental reasons. This species of plant was brought over from North America for ornamental reasons. The common ragweed is also aggressive (spreads quickly) and can cause allergic reactions.

Endangered Species: Eurasian Otter

The Eurasian otter is endangered for many reasons. Their species has experienced habitat loss due to increased tourism of the area. The population of Eurasian otters is also small and they don't have a large litter, so their population is still decreasing.

Chamois

Chamois use their speed and ability to jump to escape predators in their rocky habitat. Their fur also turns to a light gray color in the winter to blend in with the color of the snow.

Musk Deer

Musk deer's feet have adapted to climb on the rocky terrain. The hind legs of Musk deer are longer than their front legs to help with climbing the rocks.

Alpine Ibex

These goats have adapted to survive in a varied climate and have thick skin and fur to survive the cold temperatures.

Edelweiss

Edelweiss Plants have adapted to the cold environment by growing dense hairs along its stem

Silver Beech Trees

Silver Beech trees produce lots of thin leaves in the spring, allowing them to absorb a lot of sunlight for photosynthesis. In the fall, the tree reacts to temperature cues to cut off water supply to the leaves so it can save energy for the winter.

Cushion Plants

Cushion plants have adapted to alpine environment by growing a large and long root system to store water and carbohydrates for the winter. They are also low to the ground to avoid the wind and only produce few flowers to conserve energy.

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