By Bethany Brookshire
Toolik Field Station, Alaska – High in the Arctic, more than 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the nearest town, there is a flimsy plank-covered path. Just one or two boards wide, it’s snow covered for nine months of the year. But from June to August, the boardwalk peeks through, threading a path through small rectangular plots of tundra — areas in the far North where most of the year it’s too cold and dark to support plants more than a few centimeters (inches) high.
Some of these plots look exactly like the surrounding landscape. Low grassy tussocks, shrubs and moss fill them. Other patches — some open, others sheltered by small tarps — explode with life like unweeded gardens. There are tall, bright pink flowers waving in the breeze. Some bushes rise almost tall enough to be called a tree. Read more …
Caption: Grayling fish (young of the year) that have been living in a fertilized stream near Toolik Field Station, Alaska. Credit: B. Brookshire/SNS
Field reporting for this story was made possible by the Marine Biological Laboratory Logan Science Journalism Program.