Tundra


3rd hour
Climate Description
  • The coldest of all the biomes
  • Precipitation totals 6-10 inches a year, including melted snow.
  • The tundra climate spans from most of Greenland to parts of Alaska, northern Canada, and northern Russia. The latitudinal range is 75° N to 60° N.
  • Short season of growth and reproduction during the brief summer,about 6 weeks
  • The wind blows constantly, whipping around the small plants.
  • The average winter temperature is -34° C (-30° F), but the average summer temperature is 3-12° C (37-54° F)
Food Web
http://biomesfirst.wikispaces.com/Tundra+Food+Web
Five (+) Plant Adaptations
  1. Tundra plants are short (usually less than 12 inches tall) due to lack of nutrients. The roots cannot penetrate the permafrost, so being close to the ground helps keep the plants from freezing.
  2. Plants grow in clumps to protect one another from the wind and cold temperatures.
  3. They can carry out photosynthesis at low temperatures and low light intensities.
  4. Most plants reproduce by budding and division rather than sexually by flowering due to short growing seasons.
  5. The plants that do produce sexually have dish-like flowers that follow the sun, focusing more solar heat on the center of the flower.
  6. Most plants are darker in color which help them absorb solar heat.
Five Animal Adaptations
  1. Animals breed and raise young quickly in the summer.
  2. Mammals and birds have additional insulation from fat.
  3. Some of the animals have short ears and a round body with a thick coat to minimize the amount of exposed skin, like the Arctic Fox.
  4. Many birds migrate before the winter.
  5. Hibernation is a combination of behavioral and physical adaptations. For example, during the summer the brown bear's behavior is to eat just about anything it can find; then it hibernates during the winter.
  6. Some animals, like the Musk Ox, grow two layers of fur--one short and the other long. Air is trapped in the short layer of fur and is warmed by body heat. The layer of long fur protects these animals from the wind and water.

Symbiotic Relationships
Mutualism:
Lichen is made up of both a fungus and algae, which are able to obtain nutrients and energy from each other.
Predation:
In the Arctic, high predation rates on waterfowl eggs and young are usually associated with predators gaining access to populations that were previously isolated.
Parasitism:
Fleas and lemmings are parasites commonly found on some animals in the tundra.
Commensalism:
When the caribou is on the lookout for food, the arctic fox follows it. Then, when the caribou digs the ground snow in a quest to find food, it digs up the soil and slightly exposes, or at least brings closer to the surface some mammals, with whom the arctic fox shares a predator prey relationships in the tundra. So, once the caribou is done with its hunting, the arctic fox then follows and digs further deep and gets its food in the form of the mammals.


Bibliography

"Biology of Plants: Plant Adaptations." Biology of Plants: Plant Adaptations. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <http://www.mbgnet.net/bioplants/adapt.html

Biomes Groups. "The Tundra Biome." The Tundra Biome. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gloss5

"Biomesfirst - Tundra Food Web." Biomesfirst - Tundra Food Web. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
<http://biomesfirst.wikispaces.com/Tundra

"Earth Floor: Biomes." Earth Floor: Biomes. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
<http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/msese/earthsysflr

Khan, Dr.. "Symbiotic Relationships in the Tundra." Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 1 Oct. 2011. Web. 15 Nov.
2013. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbiotic-relationships-in-the-tundra.html>.