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I know the dictionary meaning of the "higher up":

(informal) someone who has a high rank in an organization

I want to know the meaning of it in the following passage:

Immediately adjacent to the timberline, the tundra consists of a fairly complete cover of low-lying shrubs, herbs, and grasses, while higher up the number and diversity of species decrease until there is much bare ground with occasional mosses and lichens and some prostrate cushion plants.

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The Tundra region, by virtue of geographical location has very cold climate since it is positioned near to the polar regions of the earth.

The higher up contextually in the passage implies altitude. The higher you progress from flat land in terms of altitude, the number and diversity of shrubs, herbs and grasses in terms of their species decrease as you ascent upwards the altitude.

Further he adds that the higher you ascend up the altitude you come across bare ground(scanty vegetation) with plants of form : mosses, lichens and prostrate cushion plants( which are small in number and less varied in diversity of species).

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