Soil and Arctic Tundra

Topics: Tundra, Soil, Temperature Pages: 2 (553 words) Published: May 12, 2002
Tundra is the coldest of all the biomes. Tundra comes from the Finnish word tunturia, meaning treeless plain. It is noted for its frost-molded landscapes, extremely low temperatures, little precipitation, poor nutrients, and short growing seasons. Dead organic material functions as a nutrient pool. The two major nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen is created by biological fixation, and phosphorus is created by precipitation. Tundra is separated into two types: arctic tundra and alpine tundra. The characteristics of the tundra are as follows:

1.Extremely cold climate
2.Low biotic diversity
3.Simple vegetation structure
4.Limitation of drainage
5.Short season of growth and reproduction
6.Energy and nutrients in the form of dead organic material 7.Large population oscillations
Arctic tundra is 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 growing season ranges from 50 to 60 days. 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. Rainfall may vary in different regions of the arctic. Yearly precipitation, including melting snow, is 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 inches). Soil is formed slowly. A layer of permanently frozen subsoil called permafrost exists, consisting mostly of gravel and finer material. When water floods the upper surface, bogs and ponds may form, providing moisture for plants. There are no deep root systems in the vegetation of the arctic tundra; however, there are still a wide variety of plants that are able to resist the cold climate. There are about 1,700 kinds of plants in the arctic and sub arctic, and these include low shrubs, sedges, reindeer mosses, liverworts, and grasses. All of the plants are adapted to sweeping winds and instability of the soil. Plants are...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Arctic Tundra Essay
  • Arctic Tundra Essay
  • tundra Essay
  • Soybean Hydroponics in the Arctic Tundra Research Paper
  • The Arctic Essay
  • Climate Change in Russia’s Arctic Tundra Essay
  • Tundra Climate Essay
  • Soil Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free