The Tundra is cold through the whole year even in summer it only reachers 45-50 degrees fahrenheit. In the winter the “hottest” it gets is 20 degrees fahrenheit and it can get as cold as -20 or even -30 degrees fahrenheit. Precipitation totals 6-10 inches of rain a year, which includes melted snow. That is about as much as a desert.
Location- Geology/ Geography
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. There is usually permafrost and mountains.
Tundra food webs are relatively simplistic compared to other biomes because biodiversity is low.
Some adaptations of tundra animals are white fur and very thick fur. They have adapted to find food in the snow and live through long winters. Some animals with these adaptations are the arctic fox, snowy owls, polar bear, etc.
The abiotic factors that influence Tundra include:
-long and cold winters
Arctic Tundra: Because the climate in the Tundra Biome is particularly inhospitable settings, the flowers found within the biome are very few. Within the Arctic Biome, the majority of plants are mosses, grasses, lichens, sedges, and shrubs. Cotton grass is very common in this region. This vegetation has been able to adapt to its environment.
Alpine Tundra: The plants that grow within this Tundra Biome are called Alpine Plants. It’s primarily consists of mosses, lichens, sedges, perennial grasses, and cushion plants. The most abundant plant is the Caribou moss.
Antarctic Tundra: : Because the Arctic Tundra’s climate is very cold and dries, the region is primarily ice fields. Within the Antarctic Peninsula, the plants that grow there are aquatic and terrestrial, for example algae, liverworts, reindeer mosses, sedges, shrubs, pearlwort, hair grass, and lichens.
Arctic tundra: Within the Arctic Tundra there are herds of reindeer, polar bears, foxes, wolves, migrating birds, and rabbits. There is only about 48 species, which is very large given their low biodiversity.
Alpine Tundra; The majority of the animals in this specific biome are goats, caribou, marmots, elks and pikas.
Antarctic Tundra: The Antarctic Tundra has several birds and sea animals. These animals include penguins, seals, and a variety of fish species that circulate this Tundra region.
-Global warming is melting the ice caps, taking land away.
-The hunt for Fossil Fuel is particularly damaging to the Arctic as it is difficult to both work and make pipelines safe because of permafrost.
-Due to unsafe pipelines, chemicals start to get into the water, poisoning the animals that consume it.
-Overhunting has caused the extinction of many tundra based animals such as the musk oxen.
-Overdevelopment: Building roads and structures in the tundra has attracted much more human traffic to an area where merely stepping on the fragile plant species can kill them.
Some endangered species include:
-The Arctic Fox: The Arctic Fox has been declining in numbers due to over hunting in some areas and the emergence of the large red fox in others.
-Polar Bears: Polars bears are increasingly becoming endangered due to ice caps melting.
-Prairie Pigeon: The prairie pigeon has been on the endangered list for a long time, to the point where many believe it’s already gone extinct.
-Caribou: The caribou is an endangered species due to increased threats from oil and gas mining projects in the Tundra region, leading to loss of habitat, in part due to forest logging.