Location Tundra biomes are most commonly found in the Northern hemisphere. Tundra covers approximately 20% of the Earth, situated at latitudes 55° to 70° North. Tundra biomes appear in cold areas, and tundra are usually barren treeless places. Specific tundra areas are the Arctic, Antarctica, areas in Northern Canada, Greenland, and areas in Northern Russia.
Climate Tundra is the coldest and driest biome in the world. In the winter -50˚ F and in the summer it rarely reaches over 50˚ F, just enough to thaw the surface. It hardly ever rains, and the rainfall can be about 10” every year. It is usually very cloudy, and so the tundra is not exposed to much sunlight.
Some of the Animals
Caribou Scientific Name: RangiferTarandus Commonly Called: Caribou, Reindeer. Caribous live in Mountain tundras, Arctic tundras, and some areas in Northern Russia and Scandinavia. Caribous are sturdy animals with short legs and unlike the deer species, both male and female Caribous have antlers. Average adults weigh up to 350-400 pounds, but even 700 lb is possible. They have adapted to the tundra very easily, as the way their body structures assist them in cold climates and conditions. Their thick hooves give them support when walking on the snow, and they are great swimmer; they use their legs as paddles. They are able to change their metabolic rate and descend into a semi-hibernation when they wish to.
Snowy Owl Snowy Owls are regarded as one of the most elegant, beautiful, and strong members of the owl family. It got it’s name from it’s astonishingly white feathers. Different genders have different markings. Males are usually pure white all round, while females and some gray-brown lines on their wings. Snowy owls are one of the top predators. They feed on arctic foxes, lemmings, ermines, and voles. These owls can weigh up to 4-6 pounds, and measure up to 21-26 inches in length.
Ermine Scientific Name: Mustela Erminea Commonly Called: Short tailed weasel, Stout, Royskatt Ermines live in Northern Biomes, like taigas or tundras. They are well adapted to harsh conditions. Their coats change color with the changing season to camouflage. During winters, their coats are white, like snow, and during summers, they have a new brown coat to match with the new environment. Ermines are carnivores. They have 34 very sharp teeth. Because of these, they can eat animals larger than themselves. They eat rabbits, insects, rodents. In different habitats they eat birds, small mammals, and some amphibians. Ermines are prey to snowy owls, lynx, hawks, arctic foxes, and other larger mammals and birds of prey. They can weigh between 3-15 ounces. Their height ranges from 7-13 inches, and their tail grows 5 inches. Males are longer than females. Ermines reproduce once a year. They can have 3 – 13 babies each mating season. The mothers are the sole responsibility for raising the young.
Some of the Plants
Bearberries Bearberries have adapted well by growing fairly low to avoid wind chills. They are used to low sunlight and use very little energy compared to plants in the rainforest. Bearberries are a low growing evergreen. The stem grows to about 2-8” off the ground and is blanketed with thick bark and minute silky hairs. The stem has many oval-shaped leaves that grow approximately 1” long. The flowers have five pale pink or white petals. They bloom during March and June. The fruit is a small red berry that is about 3/8”. Bearberries are named after the liking that bears have for these fruits.
Arctic Moss Arctic Poppy Amazingly, the barren tundra land has produced amazing yellow flowers. This is an arctic poppy, and over the yeas of living in the tundra it has learned to adapt well. It can bloom for a short period of time in the summer. This moss does not need that much sunlight to survive. The Calliergon giganteum (arctic moss) is an underwater plant that lives in bogs and damp areas. It is a bryophyte, and has tiny rootlets instead of roots. The leaves are about one cell thick.
Factors of Tundra Abiotic Biotic • Temperature: -50˚ F to 50˚ F • Rainfall • Mineral composition • Season • Altitude • Cloud coverage • Angle of sunlight • Wind (strong in the tundra) • Permafrost (only top layer of soil thaws in summer; so trees cannot grow) • Rocks • Plants like Arctic Mosses, bearberries, willows, etc. • Animals in the tundra include Arctic Foxes, polar bears, lemmings, ermines, snowy owls, caribous, voles.
Resources • Some resources include mining. There is a lot of mining in the tundra, and substances like coal and gold are found. The tundra is very rich in mineral resources. • Oil drilling is very popular. The Tundra is full of oil, and oil drilling is done in the tundra a lot.
How has Science Helped? Limitations Benefits Science has located where the oil and mining areas are, so as to find them quicker. Also, if they didn’t have science and just tried mining or drilling in random areas, a lot of the tundra would have been destroyed by now. Unfortunately, science still doesn’t know how to restore the tundra areas once they have destroyed it. Many of the tundras are getting ruined and polluted, and science doesn’t know how to solve this problem.
Affect of Human Activity • Major human activities include oil drilling. When we drill for oil, we destroy the surrounding environment. Many plant life and animals are also killed, and habitats are ruined. This also effects the food chain. • When mining, acids and other forms of pollution are wasted, and that also pollutes the surrounding environment. It pollutes the air considerably, as well as the land. The noise drives animals away from their habitats, and population decrease.
Interactions ENVIRONMENT As mentioned before, when mining and oil drilling, there is tons of pollution. Dusts and toxic gases are released that cause air pollution. These dusts also settle on neighboring lakes, ponds, (there aren’t many) and this makes in inhabitable for fish, plants, and other water creatures. It also produces loud noises, which drive animals away from their homes. They do not have a habitat, and some die. In addition, when one animal is killed, the whole food chain is affected. One of the greatest threats are oil spillage. This can damage tundra to a great extent. MONEY When the oil is drilled, and the minerals are mined, they are sold and a lot of money is made. In addition, while working for the oil/minerals, workers are needed. This causes for people to be employed, and get paid. In conclusion, by drilling oil and mining, a lot of money is made for a variety of people. SOCIAL (PEOPLE) The oil drilled is used in many various ways, for cooking, cars, and without it the world would be really different. Minerals mined are also used for medicine, and this helps people’s health. A lot of cures have been made.
BiblioGraphy • Pictures • http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_YZK1E_LNzfA/TATKBQxkH5I/AAAAAAAABB0/0nLf9YkQ0s4/s1600/Tundra.JPG • http://www.petersonspointlake.com/photography/tundra_scape01.jpg • http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/data/media/17/tundra-damage_4357.jpg • http://www.ri.net/schools/West_Warwick/manateeproject/Tundra/images/Tundra%20yellow%20flower.jpg • http://ths.sps.lane.edu/biomes/Images/flower.jpg • http://edu.glogster.com/media/4/18/28/65/18286549.jpg • http://www.animalstown.com/animals/e/ermine/coloring-pages/ermine-coloring-page-1-s.jpg • http://www.clipartreview.com/_gallery/_TN/r_213.gif • http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_hGIzWPci30k/SmZcsbEYUpI/AAAAAAAAALA/b4ipUrYNYG0/s400/lemming.png • http://www.picturesof.net/_images/Bushy_Arctic_Fox_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_090121-131413-864048.jpg • http://www.justanimal.org/images/caribou-2.jpg • http://www.bcadventure.com/adventure/wilderness/birds/snowyowl.jpg
BiblioGraphy • Information • http://library.thinkquest.org/C0113340/text/impact/impact.tundra.environment.oil.html • http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/tundra.html • http://www.ehow.com/info_8005700_yellow-tundra-flower.html • http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/tundra.htm - Plants, Animals, Climate • http://www.arkive.org/arctic-poppy/papaver-laestadianum/