A biome is an ecosystem of plants and animals occupying a distinct region. The tundra biome is the coldest of all the biomes. The climate is too harsh for most trees and too cold for large animals to live in. The area therefore has very limited plant and animal life. The word tundra means treeless plain, derived from the Finnish word tunturi. The tundra can be separated into two types: the arctic tundra and the alpine tundra.
The arctic tundra encircles the north pole and extends southwards to the coniferous forests of the taiga. The altitude ranges from 300 to 11,079 feet with the highest point at a mountain in Watkins Range, Greenland.
The alpine tundra is located on high altitude mountains in various parts of the world. Altitude is variable depending on location but it usually appears above the treeline at altitudes above 10,000 feet. Alpine tundra can be found in places like South America, the Himalayas and Mt. Fuji. In Mexico, it appears at a lower altitude than that.