There are about 1,700 species of plant life in the tundra. These plants grow only during the growing season, which last up to 60 days, with very little rain fall. Examples of plants that live in the tundra include arctic moss, terrestrial algae, cotton grass, pasque flower, and crustose lichen. These plants have certain ways to adapt to the climate. They are all short and grouped together to protect each other from strong winds and low temperature. They have hairy stems and dark leaves to help absorb energy from the sun. In order to survive, these plants also use as little energy as possible. During the winter, these plants stay dorment, inactive, waiting for the next growing season.
One example of competition is between the musk ox and the caribou.
Because they have similar diets, they fight over territory with the foods.
One example of cooperation is between the polar bear and the arctic fox.
The polar bear allows the arctic fox to eat the remainder of his kill as long as the arctic fox doesn't get in the polar bear's way.
There are several threats to the tundra and the species living in it. Global warming can be one of the largest threats to the biome. Many scientists believe global warming can be the cause of the destruction of the biome. Threats that increase habitat loss include mining and oil drilling and people moving north. The polar bear and peary caribou are both endangered species in the tundra. The tundra plays a large role in regulating temperature on Earth. The air rising from the equator is cooled in the tundra then it falls back to the equator. This is the cause of air currents and weather.
- The word "tundra" means the land of no trees.
- The tundra is believed to be the youngest biome that was formed about 10,000 years ago.
- 3/4 of the tundra is permafrost.