Tundra Biome

Clio Follmer, 3G, Self

Basic Characteristics

  • two major nutrients: nitrogen and phosphorus
  • low biotic diversity
  • simple vegetation
  • limited drainage
  • most energy and nutrients from dead matter
  • big population oscillations

Animal Adaptations

A lot of the animals in the tundra biome migrate during the winter, otherwise they won't survive. The ones left behind normally either hibernate. Another known adaptation technique would be to grow a warm winter coat.

Plant Adaptations

Tundra plants, considering the permafrost and harsh temperatures limit the vegetation, need to have special capabilities. Most tundra plants rotate and catch every UV ray they can to survive.

Arctic (northern hemisphere)

Average Winter Temperature: -30 degrees
Average Summer Temperatuer: 37-54 degrees
Precipitation: 6-10 in. (yearly)
Permafrost: 25-90 cm.
Major Plants & Animals: reindeer moss, arctic moss, musk ox, and arctic fox.

Alpine (mountains, high altitude)

Due to the altitude, no trees are permitted to grow in these areas.
Nightime Temp: always below freezing
Soil: no permafrost, slightly well drained.
Precipitation: estimated more than Arctic
Major Plants & Animals: tussuck grass, dwarf trees, mountain goats, and springtails.

Antarctic (southern hemisphere)

Temperature: always below freezing
Biodiversity: very limited, out of the 1100 varities of plants, pearlworts and hair grass are major, and penguins and seals are the major roaming animals.


If food is limited, the musk ox and the caribou may begin to compete for resources.


  • frost boils
  • pingos
  • stripes
  • polygons


  • arctic fox feed on small mammals and birds.
  • snowy owls feed on small rodents or lemmings

Limiting Factors

Abiotic: soil, limiting growing season, cold temperatures
Biotic: range from lichens to polar bears


Out of all the things happening in the world, global warming has permanently scared a lot of citizens. Due to the greenhouse effect, there is a slow opening hole in the ozone layer. Carbon is released from many things around the world, and permafrost is one of those many. Every year during summer, the UV rays come through and melt the permafrost releasing carbon into the air, only to make the hole in the layer larger, only to increase melting each year. Scientists are trying to help with all their might, but others think it almost impossible.


Ballard, K. (2004, April). The tundra biome. Retrieved from http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gloss5/biome/tundra.html
Tundra habitat. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://web.bryant.edu/~langlois/ecology/Habitat.htm
Tundra animals. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.tundraanimals.net/
Tundra characteristics. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/list_6817564_tundra-characteristics.html
Landforms of the tundra. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/list_7575771_landforms-tundra.html
Tundra facts. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/tundra-facts.html
Antartica. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://library.thinkquest.org/26442/html/life/plant.html
Limiting factors. (2012, May 08). Retrieved from http://tundrascience.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/limiting-factors/
The ap biology project of the century. (2011, Jan 12). Retrieved from http://bleucheesebio.blogspot.com/2011/01/symbiotic-relationships-in-tundra.html
Animals of the tundra. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://web.bryant.edu/~langlois/ecology/arcticanimals.html