North Tibetan Plateau-Kunlun Mountains alpine desert

The vegetation of this ecoregion is a cold desert steppe, only productive for a few months a year, but supporting populations of ungulates, small mammals, and their predators. Occurring in the high elevations of north-eastern part of Ladakh, the area is windy, with mean temperatures below freezing for nine months a year, and harsh temperatures. Precipitation is scant, about 20–50 mm a year, as snow, which sublimates quickly in the intense sunlight. Soils are saline, soaked with water in summer, frozen in winter, and lie atop permafrost. Plant cover is sparse, and below 5,200 m elevation, the vegetation is represented by Carex sedges and compact, tufted forbs in the amaranth and mustard families.

Source: Modified from One Earth CC BY-NC