The Tundra Ecosystem

Topics: Polar bear, Tundra, Plant Pages: 2 (347 words) Published: September 11, 2011
The Arctic Tundra ecosystem
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.

All of the plants are adapted to sweeping winds and disturbances of the soil. Plants are short and group together to resist the cold temperatures and are protected by the snow during the winter. They can carry out photosynthesis at low temperatures and low light intensities. The growing seasons are short and most plants reproduce by budding and division rather than sexually by flowering. The organisms in the arctic are also diverse:

* Herbivorous mammals: lemmings, voles, musk oxen, caribou, arctic hares and squirrels * Carnivorous mammals: arctic foxes, wolves, and polar bears * Migratory birds: ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, sandpipers, terns, snow birds, and various species of gulls * Insects: mosquitoes, flies, moths, grasshoppers, black flies and arctic bumble bees * Fish: cod, flatfish, salmon, and trout

Animals are adapted to handle long, cold winters and to breed and raise young quickly in the summer. Reptiles and amphibians are few or absent because of the extremely cold temperatures. Also because of constant immigration and emigration, the population continually oscillates.

Abiotic Factors:

* Strong Winds
* little precipitation and rainfall
* short summer days
* very long and cold winters
* poor soil
* permafrost-a layer of permanently frozen subsoil

Biotic Factors:

* Plants like Heaths and mosses have to adapt to the very long and cold winters because the sun does not come up in the winter. * During the summers, when wetlands abound on the arctic tundra, mosquitoes and flies provide important food for the many migratory birds.

Primary consumers include: lemmings, voles, caribou, insects, arctic hares, and also squirrels which feed on the...
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