Tundra- Polar Grasslands

Tundra- Polar Grasslands
General Information
• Tundra: from Finnish word tunturi which means treeless
• Also known as polar grasslands
• Coldest and driest of all biomes
• In northern and southern most latitudes
• Areas such as North Europe, Siberia, Northern most part
of North America, a few plains in the southern
hemisphere (area has more ocean than land)
• Simple vegetation structure
-Low shrubs, sedges, reindeer mosses, liverworts,
-lichen- on rocks, close together
-grow close to the ground to protect from cold
• Average temperature is less than 5
degrees Celsius
• The coldest weather of the tundra
occurs in northeastern Siberia.
• mild summers with an average
temperature of 45 degrees F.
• Alaska, Canada, and Siberia have the
warmest summers out of the Tundra
• Precipitation-usually snow-less than 100 mm per year
• the Tundra is usually very foggy
• the land is wet because of how long it takes the water in the
tundra to evaporate and because of poor drainage
Biomass and Productivity
• Biomass: mass of living biological organisms in
a given ecosystem at a given time
• Net primary productivity by (kilocalories/ square
meter/ year): 600
• Approx. kilocalories per square meter per day: 2
• Rainfall per year in inches: less than 10
• Type of land: barren- ice, sand, tundra desert
• % of earths land surface: 33%
• Airborne
pollutants- such as
DDT and PCB’s
• Oil and gas
which leads to
global warming
• Drilling for oil in
the Tundra region
Animal: The Polar Bear
– It has clear fur that appears white
when hit by the light
– Its shoulder height can be over five
feet, and when standing the polar
bear can reach heights from eight
to eleven feet
– Females can weigh anywhere from
660-770 pounds
– Males can weigh from 880-990
– Mainly seals, but also eats other
sea life, and whale and walrus
– In the summer: lemmings, arctic
foxes, ducks, and occasionally
some plants.
Animal: The Polar Bear
• Adaptation:
– The polar bear is able to handle the cold due to its two layers of
fur, which is hollow and creates insulation. Underneath this is
black skin that absorbs heat. Also, they have short ears and tails
so that little heat is lost. It also has around 4.5 inch thick blubber
to help keep warm.
– It has a longer neck than other bears to help it keep its head
above water. They have strong legs and webbed feet to help
them swim.
• The polar bear is not currently endangered, but chemicals polluting
their food stock and melting ice packs poses a threat to them.
Plant- Arctic Moss
• Arctic moss (Callieron giganteum) is an aquatic plant that
grows underwater at the bottom of lakes, as well as in bogs
and fens.
• It is a bryophyte, which means that it has no flowers or
woody stems and uses spores to reproduce.
• It grows very slowly, about 1 cm per year, which helps it to
conserve energy, a rare commodity in the tundra.
• Arctic moss is very long-lived; shoots live seven to nine
years and leaves live four years.
• Arctic moss stores nutrients in the winter so that it can
generate leaves more quickly in the spring, generating
more energy.
• It is also protected from the harsh winds and low
temperatures of the tundra by growing underwater and
remaining close to the ground.
• Arctic moss also protects other plants from the cold.