Tundra

Emma Alvey

Biome Description

The Tundra is located at the top of the world, near the North Pole. The biggest characteristic of the Tundra is permafrost. Permafrost is a permanently frozen layer of the ground. On the fast summers, the top part of the soil might thaw out letting plants and microorganisims grow and reproduce.

Abiotic Factors

The temperature in the winter can get as cold as -60 F(-51C). The average temperature for the warmest months is anywhere between 50 F(10 C) to 32 F(0 C). There is not a lot of precipitation in the Tundra it is usually less than 25 inches(10cm). The tundra has very long and cold winters and very short and cool summers.

Landforms

The Alpine: Alpine Tundras mostly have grass on the outside of the many mountains and no trees. Some of them are known as one of the highest points on earth. It also has many bodies of waters. The main bodies of water are lakes and streams. The alpine is made of many biomes. To get to the alpine you have to go through a dessert, deciduious forest, grassland, steepe, and a taiga before you reach the cold alpine biome. Many animals that live in the alpine flowers in the frolic in the flowers and drink the lake water.

The Arctic: The arctic tundra is covered in ice and somewhat high mountains. There is really only one known body of water and that is the ocean. In the winter most animals hibranate but when it is spring the ice capes and melts, just a little. Most animals like poalar bears and penguins use the ocean to fish or swim. Some animals even sit on the ice burgs to fish. So in the tundra there is mostly high mountains and ice burgs on the ocean.

Animals

You might think that because of the Tundra's extreme environment there would not be many biotic factors, but there are! You can find lots of animals such as, arctic fox, caribou, ermine, grizzly bear, polar bear, and many others. Many animals grow thick coats to keep them warm in the winter. Others just hibernate during the winter to stay out of the winter.

Plants

Despite the long hard winters many plant life is found such as, Arctic Moss, Arctic Willow, Bearberry, Caribou Moss, Diamond-leaf willow, and many others. During the short summers these plants are able to bloom.

Human Impact

Since the weather in the tundra is extremely cold and harsh the animals have to do a lot to keep up with weather. So it is hard for them to deal with extra disturbances. But many people are moving to the tundra and working in the mines and oil rigs, theses people have created homes and roads that are interrupting the animals traditional feeding and denning grounds. When the animals try to pass through a town they are often scared away of shot. With their feeding patterns disrupted many polar bears have starved. An example of the disruption is, the Alaskan Oil Pipeline was build across the caribou migration route. In some places they have raised the pipeline above the ground so that the caribou are able to pass under it. Lots of pesticides have been used to get rid of the insects. Thousands of migrating birds go to the tundra to eat the insects and through the food chain many of the pesticides have reached many of there animals living in the tundra. The humans have caused starvation of many animals and have killed many more with their pesticides.