A region of permanently frozen subsoil (permafrost), at a depth determined by the extent of the summer thaw. It occurs in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, much less extensively in the equivalent latitudes of the southern hemisphere, and in montane environments. The tundra is characterized by low and dwarf vegetation, a short growing season, impeded soil drainage and the accumulation of peat.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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