The amount of organic matter and phytomass is estimated on three types of shrub tundras in northern Sweden has been examined here. The organic matter ranges from 23600 kg ha1 on a dry dwarf birch tundra rich in dwarf shrubs, to 59600 kg ha1 on a moist moss-rich dwarf birch-willow tundra.
The phytomass reaches a peak of 14700 kg ha1 on a mesic dwarf birch tundra, compared with 9230 and 8660 kg/ha1 on the dry and moist sites. The belowground share of the phytomass decreases from 68% on the dry site to 54 and 47% on the mesic and moist tundras.
Some adaptive advantages of belowground storage as well as of different life- and growthforms in different vegetational regions and local environments are discussed. Broad scale regional connections with tundra vegetation in other parts of Scandinavia and the Soviet Union are proposed, based on similarities in phytomass, distribution of plant groups, life- and growthforms. It is shown that the north Swedish tundra has many features in common with the subarctic shrub tundra in the USSR.