The Tundra Biome!

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The Tundra Biome!
What does the tundra look like?
 The best way to describe
the tundra is to look at
its’ name. Tunturia, the
long version of tundra, is
literally translated into
treeless plain. Because of
the low temperatures
that the tundra houses
its’ landscapes are
covered in frost, and the
soil is frozen year round,
a condition known as
permafrost. There is very
little nutrients embedded
in the soil, mostly
Nitrogen and
Phosphorus.

Since there are two varieties of tundra, alpine and arctic,
there is a separate appearance to go with each. For
example, the alpine tundra is the area above the altitude
that large trees cannot grow, due to the short growing
season and extreme cold at nights. It looks quite desolate
in these areas except for the small trees, and shrubbery.
The only animals that can survive these areas are small
creatures like pikas and marmots and the larger ones, like
mountain goats. The Arctic Tundra is the desolate plains
located north of the Arctic Circle and the taiga. This area
looks like someone took a bulldozer and took out every
plant that stood over a foot tall. This is because of the fact
that the ground has permafrost and no plant with large
roots can grow. Small rodents, foxes, wolves, some large
mammals such as elk and moose, and some other small
animals are the few that can survive these temperatures.
Climatograph of the Tundra!!!
10
2.5
5
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1.5
-5
Au
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Ju
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M
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-20
Ju
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0
ay
-15
Ap
ril
0.5
ar
ch
-10
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1
Months
Tundra Monthy precipitation (cm)
Tundra Average Temperature (Celcius)
Average Temp (Degrees
Celcuis)
3
Ja
nu
a
Average Precipitation (cm)
Tundra Climograph
Boundaries and Global Distribution
of the Tundra!!
 The Arctic tundra is found, just like it sounds, just
below the Arctic Circle. It runs along the northern
most fringes of North America and Eurasia. It extends
as far south as the deciduous trees of the Taiga
region. It starts at 70 degrees and extends as far as
55 degrees in parts of North America. As the tundra
spans over 2 continents, it would not be fair to give it
one specific latitude. One could say it is from approx.
7 degrees west to 64 degrees west and 15 degrees
east to the International Date Line, but it would be
easier to say it spans across the entire world.
 Alpine tundra can be found at anyplace where there
are mountains. It begins where there is such an
altitude that trees can no longer survive.
Boundaries and Global Distribution
of the Tundra!!
Climate of the Tundra!!!
 Summer and winter are the two major seasons in this
biome. Spring and fall do exist, but are short periods
between summer and winter. In the winter
temperatures have an average of –28 degrees
centigrade, but it can drop as low as –70 degrees
centigrade. Night can last for weeks during a time
where the sun will almost never rise. In the tundra
summer however, there is an average temperature of
12 degrees centigrade, in a range of 3-16 degrees
centigrade. Precipitation in the Tundra is extremely
low, consisting of only 6-10 inches in a year. In the
summer months, this along with water from the
partially thawed ground creates ponds and marshes.
Cool Pictures on the Tundra!!
Cool Pictures on the Tundra!!
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 The tundra is a cold place, and animals
have to be adapted specifically to their
habitat. Contrary to the common belief that
nothing could possibly live in the tundra’s
harsh conditions, many plants and animals
live in this biome. These animals have
adapted by only spending the summer in
the tundra and migrating south. Other
animals have simply changed to be able to
live though the harsh winter. Though some
of the ground is covered in permafrost
plants and shrubs live sparsely on the
ground.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 Gyrfalcon
 This is the biggest
falcon. It is very
similar to the
peregrine falcons in its
diving for prey. It is
thickly feathered to
keep in warm during
the winter. These birds
have adapted to the
harsh winter (like
many animals in the
tundra) by raising their
young in the summer.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 Rock Ptarmigan
 This bird spends more of
its time on the ground
then in the air. They feed
off of whatever they can
find in the summer like
leaves fruits and some
seeds. They migrate
south for the winter and
return in the spring. This
bird blends into the
ground to prevent itself
from becoming prey for
the falcon above.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 Snow Bunting
 This bird also feeds on
whatever can be found
in the tundra. Seeds
remain its largest food
source. Their nests
unlike most birds are
not in trees but
between rocks. This is
an adaptation due to
the lack of trees in the
tundra. It is white so
that it is not as easy to
spot against the snowy
tundra.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!


Snowy Owl
This is one of the largest
birds in the tundra, making it
the top of the food chain. It
hunts during the night and
sleeps during the day. They
have incredibly good eyesight
making it easy to pick out
small rodents in the snow. It
too nests on the ground due
to the lack of trees. It is
white during the winter
making it easier to
camouflage. During the
summer she is a more brown
color making it camouflage
when there is less snow.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 Arctic fox
 This fox feeds off
of small animals on
the ground. The
Arctic fox is very
well adapted to the
tundra. It has thick
fur to keep it
warm. The fox’s
feet are well furred
as well.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 Caribou
 The Caribou are large
herbivores that migrate
from many hundred
miles in winter. They
migrate because there is
a lack off food in the
winter. Farther south
they can find better
feeding grounds. Some
caribou stay during the
winter feeding off
lichens. They have
simply adapted to where
and when they can find
their food.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!


Musk Ox
The Musk Ox is a very
prehistoric animal. It has
adapted itself to its cold
habitat with a dense
undercoat of fur, keeping it
warm. Musk Ox live in groups,
for protection. If they were
attacked by predators like
wolves they face outwards in
a circle with their horns out
with young in the middle.
They eat mosses and lichens.
During the winter they may
actually dig through the snow
to find food under the
permafrost.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 Norway Lemming
 The lemming is a small
rodent; it’s very well
adapted to tundra life.
They are famous for their
large population
explosions every three or
four years. It is believed
that this happens when
their population drops.
They feed on seeds and
berries found. No
there’re not little green
things that commit
suicide.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 Polar Bear
 The polar bear is the
highest in the food chain
in the tundra. It feeds on
many larger mammals.
The polar bear can easily
out run a caribou in short
bursts. During the
summer the bear also
feeds on the abundance
of berries. The polar
bears fur keeps it warm
during the winter and
acts like a wet suit when
swimming.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 Arctic Moss
 Arctic moss has
adapted to the harsh
climate of the tundra.
It is an aquatic plant
found on the bottom of
lake beds and around
bogs or fens. It is
eaten by many
migrating birds.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!


Caribou Moss
This plant is actually is lichen.
Lichens are actually two
different organisms that have
a symbiotic relationship. They
are made up of fungi and
algae. The threads from the
lichen protect the algae,
while the algae
photosynthesize. It is very
resistant to the cold making
it a good plant for the tundra.
They also can go without
water(It goes dormant) for a
long time also making to
good for tundra, considering
that the tundra is a form of
desert.
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 Tufted Saxifrage
 This is a small
perennial that is all
over the southern
tundra. The tufted
saxifrage is low to the
ground and grows in
mats that keep in
warm in frosts. They
have a root system
that stores
carbohydrates
Animals and Plants of the
Tundra!!
 Willow
 This plant also has
adapted to the cold
weather by growing in
mats as well. If you
were to see it in the
tundra it would look
like a rug. There are
many species of the
willow all around the
world they vary in
uses; some are even
used as a kind of
aspirin
More Cool Pictures on the
Tundra!!
More Pictures on the
Tundra!!
Human Impact on Tundra!!

Human impact on the tundra has been
significant. From petroleum production
to global warming, we are slowly
degrading this biome. Increased
production and exploration of the area
has led to the endangerment of many
plants and some animals due to the
significant changes to their
surroundings. This results in the
destruction of many animal’s habitats
and nesting grounds. Global warming is
also negatively affecting the tundra
biome. It is slowly melting the
environment and ice. This leads to the
loss of food sources for animals, killing
off entire species and seriously
endangering others. This destruction
must be stopped before it gets too
severe.
Future of the Tundra!!
 Unless something is done about the
destruction of the biome, widespread
extinction is imminent. Ice will melt, food
will die, and species will follow. Programs
like the Kyoto Accord provide hope for the
tundra. This will diminish global warming to
a reasonable amount. Less global warming
means the survival of animals that live on
the tundra. Less production on the tundra
can also impact the survival of animals
positively. This allows plant species to
flourish and survive. If we are careful, we
can preserve this magnificent biome.
Bibliography
 http://www.cedcc.psu.edu/khanjan/best_al
aska_pix/139_Sunset%20in%20the%20Tun
dra.JPG
 http://www.desertmuseum.org/desert/habi
tats/tundra/tundra-intro.jpg
 http://home.gci.net/~pakprotector/Tundra
%20from%20the%20Air%202_05_05.jpg
 http://www.livingwilderness.com/mountain
s/tundra.jpg
 http://mbgnet.mobot.org/sets/tundra/anim
als/
Bibliography
 http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/graphic
s/tundra2.jpg
 http://royercenter.cwc.psu.edu/biodiversity
/defined/biosphere/biome-tundra.html
 http://www.sciencealberta.org/pdf/preparin
g_climatographs.pdf
 http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gl
oss5/biome/tundra.html
 http://www.ulapland.fi/home/vies/ajankoht
aista/kide/Kide4_2000/Forbes.htm
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