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TUNDRA BIOME

Al John S. Timogan
Patrisse Bea D. Prospero
John Ray L. Tan
The Tundra Biome

 At the northernmost limits of plant growth, and at


high altitudes just below areas covered
permanently with ice and snow is the TUNDRA
(from the Russian word for “marshy plain”). The
tundra is the simplest biome in terms of species
composition and food chains. The tundra biome is
restricted to the high latitudes of the northern
hemisphere in a belt around the Arctic Ocean.
Many of its species, both plant and animal, have
circumpolar distribution areas.
Types of Tundra Biome

 Arctic Tundra - located in the northern hemisphere,


encircling the north pole and extending south to the
coniferous forests of the taiga. The arctic is known for its
cold, desert-like conditions. The average winter temperature
is -34°C (-30° F), but the average summer temperature is 3-
12°C (37-54° F) which enables this biome to sustain life. A
layer of permanently frozen subsoil called permafrost
exists, consisting mostly of gravel and finer material.

 Alpine Tundra - located on mountains throughout the world


at high altitude where trees cannot grow. The nighttime
temperature is usually below freezing. Unlike the arctic
tundra, the soil in the alpine is well drained.
Characteristics of Tundra
Tundra is the coldest of all the biomes. It is
noted for its:

 frost-molded landscapes - usually referred to as


the permafrost, continuously frozen ground. The
depth of the permafrost ranges from a few meters
to nearly 1500 m (5000 ft) in northern Siberia. The
permafrost prevents the roots of plants from
penetrating very far into the soil.
 little precipitation - receives less than 10 inches
of precipitation yearly.
 extremely cold climate - fierce winds blow while
snow and ice cover the ground. Even the sea
freezes as the temperature gets colder. The tundra
has a short summer that lasts from May to July.
 Low biotic diversity

 Simple vegetation structure

 Energy and nutrients comes in the form of dead


organic materials

 Large population oscillations


Vegetations in Tundra
 Arctic Moss - is an aquatic plant
found growing on the bottom of
tundra lake beds and in and
around bogs and fens. The Arctic
Moss has adapted well to its cold
climate. When it is not growing, it
stores nutrients so new leaves
can be made quickly next spring.
The more leaves the more they
can photosynthesize. It has
adapted to the incredibly strong
winds because it grows near to
the ground. Because it can grow
under water it is protected from
the drying winds and cold, dry air
of the frozen tundra. Its long life
and slow growth are probably
adaptations to the short growing
season and the cold.
Bearberry
 Bearberry is a low
growing evergreen. It has
a stem that rises 2-8" off
the ground and is
covered in a thick bark
and fine silky hairs. Since
bearberry is a low
growing plant it can stay
out of the wind chill. It's
fine silky hairs also help
to keep it warm. Leathery
leaves are also an
adaptation to the cold of
the tundra.
Arctic Willow
 Arctic Willow is 15-20 cm
in height. The Arctic
Willow or Rock Willow has
made many adaptations
to the cold climate of the
North American tundra. In
its strongest growth
season the Arctic Willow
forms a pesticide to keep
insects like the Arctic
woolly bear away. It has
also adapted to the
permafrost by growing a
shallow root system. The
leaves of the Arctic Willow
have also adapted to the
cold weather by growing
long fuzzy hairs.
Pasque Flower
 Pasque flower is a
pretty tundra plant. The
Pasque flower has
several stems that rise
6-8 inches off the
ground. The Pasque
flower, like all tundra
plants, grows low to the
ground to keep out of
the cold climate. It is
also covered in fine
silky hairs, which help
insulate it.
Animals in Tundra
 Arctic Fox - the Arctic fox
(Alopex lagopus) makes its
home in small burrows in
frost-free ground, often in low
mounds, or in rock piles. The
Arctic fox has adapted to its
environment by growing long
fur that changes color with the
season for camouflage. It
tends to eat whatever is
available. Its movements are
stealthy due to lack of cover
on the tundra. Its legs, ears,
and muzzle are short to
conserve heat, and uses its
tail like a muffler when cold.
Caribou
 The caribou is actually a
large member of the deer
family. They are well
adapted to living on the
tundra. Their large,
spreading hooves support
the animal in snow in the
winter and marshy tundra
in the summer. Caribou are
also great swimmers and
use their feet as paddles.
They can also lower their
metabolic rate and go into a
semi-hibernation when
conditions get very harsh.
Polar Bear
 Polar bears adapt very well
to the cold. The polar bear
has a thick layer of blubber
around 4.5 inches thick. That
and the hollow shafts of their
hair provides them with
excellent insulation. This
allows them to handle
temperature of -34°F. Their
ears and tail are very short
so they don't lose any heat
through them. They have a
very good sense of smell.
Their necks are longer than
other bears to keep their
head above the water when
they swim. They have strong
legs and partially webbed
front feet to help them swim.
Snowy Owl
 The snowy owl can see its
prey with both eyes at
once, like humans. Their
eyes take up more space in
the skull than the brain. The
snowy owls hearing is very
sensitive and they can
pinpoint voles and
lemmings under deep
snow. Their wings are long
and broad, which allow it
them fly close to the ground
to catch its prey. Claws are
long, curved and needle
like. They act like weapons
for catching and killing its
prey.
Ermine
 The Ermine lives in
northern biomes such as
taigas and tundras. The
Ermine’s paws have claws
which enables it to dig. The
front feet are smaller than
the back which helps it fit
into small, tight spaces.
The coat of the ermine
changes with the seasons
and camouflages it from
predators. In winter the
ermine's coat is white
blending in with the snowy
environment. In warmer
seasons the fur turns
brown again matching the
color of the landscape.