Tundra Biome By: Amber Thibault
Climate • Strong, drying winds increase the coolness of the drastic tundra temperatures • Water is unavailable during most of the year • Average winter temperature: -34˚ C • Average summer temperature: 12˚ C • Average overall temperature: -16˚ C
Precipitation • The tundra gets an annual precipitation of 15 centimeters. That’s not much compared to the rainforest that gets 90 centimeters. Permafrost • Permafrost is a permanent layer of ice. This layer is temporarily melted in the summer months for a short 6-10 week growing season.
Location The tundra biome is found somewhere between 60° and 75° latitude, mostly around the Arctic coast of North America and Eurasia. http://questgarden.com/47/43/8/070313183408/images/tundra_location_map001.gif
Plants of the Tundra • Not many plants can survive the harsh climate of the tundra • Most tundra plants survive by growing low to the ground • They grow between rocks to protect themselves from the wind • Some plants survive because they possess the ability to reproduce quickly, which is helpful during a short growing season • Some plants, such as lichens, are able to grow on bare rock
Arctic Hare • Their small shape conserves heat, this explains their unusually small ears • They have a thick coat of fur • White in the winter, blue-gray in the spring protects them from predators • Dig snow shelters and huddle together to keep warm
Arctic Wolf • Arctic wolves have thick foot pads on their feet to protect them from the wet and cold • Arctic wolves have extremely good hearing. They can hear another wolf from 5 miles away. This intense hearing helps when your hunting scarce prey.
Polar Bear • Giant, partially webbed paws with long, non-retractable nails help the polar bear dig in snow and ice to create dens it uses for shelter • These paws are also used as paddles, with which polar bears use to swim for many hours • Use glossy guard hairs, a thick undercoat, and a layer of fat to protect themselves from the cold
Musk Oxen • Musk oxen have two thick layers of fur. • One is used to trap heat and insulate the body • The second is to protect the musk ox from wind and water • Large, hard hooves allow the musk ox to break ice and drink water during the winter months
But recently, people have obtained modernized tools and technology to make better use of the land. This technology has a big impact on tundra ecosystem. The slightest disturbance can drastically alter the environment and make it unlivable for plants and animals. Oil drilling is an example of a harmful technology. If there was an oil spill an entire ecosystem could be eradicated. Modern tools make it easier to eliminate a species from a certain area without even realizing it. Human Effects on Tundra In history, humans have had a very small impact on the tundra.
Picture Sources • http://www.hsu.edu/uploadedImages/Biology/reindeer%20lichen200.jpg • http://www.ontariowildflower.com/images/cottongrassfl.jpg • http://www.the-ultralight-site.com/Arctic%20Willow.jpg • http://www.peninsulaclarion.com/images/062300/ALPINEAZALEA.jpg • http://images.encarta.msn.com/xrefmedia/sharemed/targets/images/pho/t641/T641370A.jpg • http://static.flickr.com/91/277528345_b197317dcd_o.jpg • http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/data/media/17/oil-rig-with-crew-boats_3218.jpg • http://www.oceanadventures.co.uk/images/Arctic-Hare---Q.jpg • http://www.lagomania.com/img/arctichare.jpg • http://www.ngsprints.co.uk/images/M/701856.jpg • http://www.allbestpictures.com/wallpapers/animals_and_wildlife/image/arctic_wolf,_canada.jpg • http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/arctic-wolf.jpg • http://www.nd.edu/~bioclub/polar_bear.jpg • http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/12_01/bear071207_468x555.jpg • http://www.alaskaone.com/wildlife/images/muskox.jpg • http://www.donsmaps.com/clickphotos/muskox.jpg • http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m259/youchestonyoufuckyouwave/Musk_Ox.png
Bibliography • tundra climate. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 13, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/608934/tundra-climate • Tundra. (2002). Missouri Botanical Garden: http://www.mbgnet.net/sets/tundra/index.htm • The tundra biome. University of California Museum of Paleontology: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/tundra.php • The Tundra Biome: http://library.thinkquest.org/6225/tundra.htm • Tundra. (2008) University of Puget Sound: http://www.ups.edu/x6113.xml • Arctic Hare. (1996-2008). National Geographic Society: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/arctic-hare.html • Arctic Tundra. (1997-2004). Wheeling Jesuit University: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/msese/earthsysflr/tundraA.html • Massicot, Paul. Animal Info. (1999-2006). Last modified: July 29, 2006: http://www.animalinfo.org/species/carnivor/ursumari.htm • Arctic Wolf. (2000). The Wild Ones: http://www.thewildones.org/SFC/Seana/cora.html • The Tundra. Created by - SLW. Created - September 30, 1996: http://www.runet.edu/~swoodwar/CLASSES/GEOG235/biomes/tundra/tundra.html