external image high-sierra-tundra_190_600x450.jpg

Arctic Tundra

The arctic tundra is the coldest biome. Tundra comes from the Finnish word, “tunturia”, which means treeless plain. It is found in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Southern Hemisphere on isolated islands off the coast of Antarctica. The arctic tundra is between two other biomes which are the taiga and ice caps. Climates in the arctic tundra are winter and summer. Vegetation in the arctic tundra consists of forests, trees and shrubs. Most fauna that habitat in the arctic tundra are land mammals and birds.


Geographic Region and Abiotic Factors

Arctic biomes are found in the northern hemisphere, around the North pole and stretches out to the forest of Taiga. The arctic tunda is desert-like, but has extremely cold temperatures. The Artic Tundra is desert- like but it has extremely cold temperatures.

Flora

  • Arctic Moss (Calliergon giganteum)- Grows in cold envriroment In the Northern Hemisphere, the calliergon giganteum is a water plant that is found growing under the Tundra lakes and around Bogs and fen. Like all mosses, Calliergon giganteum bryophyte, and they have rhizoids such as tiny rootlets.

  • Labrador- Grows up to 4 to 5 feet and grows in the Southern latitude of tundra, the main color of the Labrador plant is leathery green and they could be use as medical purposes. They usually grow in wet meadows, Bogs, and forest areas.

  • Tufted Saxifrage- Tiny Perennial that grows in the skinny mats on the Tundra and it has several straight flower stems which can grow 3-15 cm high, it is hairy and their tips divide in 3 lobes. Tufted Saxifrage likes the cold weather and it usually grows on rocky slopes and crevices of tundra.

  • Pasque Flower- It has several stems and could grow 6-8 inches of the ground and each stem is one flower wih 5-8 petals, the color of the petals are dark lavender to almost white. Pasque doesn’t like the cold climate and it could be a medicine to cure and treat eye disease


Fauna

The fauna is limited to:
  • terrestrial (caribou, arctic fox, polar bear lemmings, reindeer)
  • aquatic (seal, walrus, loons, gulls)

Both the terrestrial fauna and the aquatic fauna fight viciously for their lives because the tundra is a difficult area to inhabit. The permafrost that exists limits the amount of available food. Because of this, the competition between such fauna as oxen and wolves, is heightened until the summer months arrive.

The fauna either have a thick coat of skin or they are cold-blooded. It is how they adapt that is quite interesting, however. For instance, the arctic fox has been adapted because its coat is white during the brutal winters and reverts back to brown in the summer. It is able to blend in with its surroundings.

References