Tundra

By: Tanya Jagan and Tasha Thomas

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Climate Explanation

Temperature:

  • average: -28 Celsius
  • high: 12 Celsius
  • low: -70 Celsius


Precipitation:

  • 6-10 inches each year (snow and rain)


Seasons:

There are only two seasons in the tundra (Summer and Winter)

  • During long winter months the sun barely rises which makes it dark most of the time. Since winter is so long in the Tundra, the organisms have to adapt to not freeze to death. The average temperature is -40 degrees Celsius during the winter and can go all the way to -70 degrees Celsius.
  • Summer is very short because it last only 6-10 weeks, but during it, the sun is up 24 hours a day. Each summer, the upper layer of the snow melts making pools of water. The water cannot get to the ground because of permafrost. Permafrost is when there hasn't been a lot of rain or snow but pools of water. The temperature during the summer is 6 degrees Celsius to 12 Degrees Celsius.
  • Most of the precipitation is in the summer, mainly in July. Coastal areas that are tundra have the most precipitation in August. Some tundra areas in Norway have the opposite pattern, with the most precipitation in February and March.

Animals

Animal Pictures Citation: http://tundra7doe.weebly.com/animals.html

Animal Adaptations

  • Animals like that polar bear have blubber to help keep it warm in the winter.
  • Most animals, like the Ermine can change its fur color depending on the season to help with camouflage.
  • Almost all the animals in the tundra have a very thick coat of fur to help keep them warm.
  • Most animals, like the polar bear, ermine, grizzly bear, and arctic fox, have sharp claws and teeth to catch prey during the winter when food is low.
  • For more help with staying warm and storing energy for the winter time when food is low, animals like the grizzly bear have extra layers of fat.

Plants

Plant Pictures Citation: http://tundra7doe.weebly.com/plants.html

Plant Adaptations


  • Most plants in the tundra, like bearberry, Labrador tea, Tufted Saxifrage, and more, are low growing, meaning they are short, to protect themselves from the chill of the wind.
  • Some plants, like the arctic willow, forms a pesticide to keep predators away.
  • Plants like the bearberry and Labrador tea also have silky hairs on their stems and leaves to protect themselves from the cold.
  • In order not to freeze, plants like the Arctic Willow have shallow roots.
  • Most plants, like the Tufted Saxifrage, also have long and well developed underground root system to get nutrients when the ground is low on nutrients.

Symbiosis

  • Commensalism: Arctic foxes follow a Polar Bear to where it eats. Then the Arctic Fox scavenges for the remains of the Polar bear’s meal and eats it.
  • Competition: The Snowy Eagle and the Polar Bear are at competition for the Arctic Fox because both of them eat the Arctic Fox.
  • Predation: The Polar Bear is the predator of the Arctic Fox because the polar bear hunts it for food.
  • Parasitism: The Liver Tapeworm lives inside the stomach of the Caribou and feeds off of the nutrients that the caribou gets, taking the caribou's food.
  • Mutualism: The Arctic bumblebee is provided with nectar and food and in return the Arctic Poppy is provided with pollination.

Food Web

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Food Pyramid

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Human Impact


  • Negative: Factories and cities cause air pollution which destroys the ozone layer slowly, and when the ozone layer, which protects us from harmful UV Rays, is destroyed, the UV rays are exposed to the tundra and melts it. The Tundra melting would be bad because all of the organisms that live in its icy, cold environment will lose their habitat.
  • Negative: Ever since humans invented machines that ran on gas, they have been needing more and more oils. The tundra holds a lot of fossil fuels, and by drilling for them in the tundra, the organisms that live there are affected negatively. Pollutions are created and habitats are lost when humans drill for oil in the tundra.
  • Positive: Yet humans have started realizing their mistakes and decided to build parks to save what's left of certain Tundra organisms. An example of a wildlife protection park in the tundra would be the Lake Clark National Park, created to save endangered Tundra species and habitats.
Tundra

Primary Succession in the Tundra

Secondary Succession in the Tundra

Climax Community in the Tundra

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Climax Community is when ecosystem reaches its "climax" stage. In a climax community, animals are adapted to the ecosystem and there is a good balance in the ecosystem between plants, animals, and the ecosystem as a whole.