Monday, January 17, 2011

The Artic Environment

The Artic Tundra

Characteristics of tundra include:
  • Extremely cold climate
  • Low biotic diversity
  • Simple vegetation structure
  • Limitation of drainage
  • Short season of growth and reproduction
  • Energy and nutrients in the form of dead organic material
  • Large population oscillations

The tundra is separated into two groupings:
(1) Artic tundra (polar desert)
(2) Alpine tundra

Arctic tundra

- located in the northern hemishere
- growing season from 50 to 60 days
- average winter temperature is -34° C (-30° F), but the average summer temperature is 3-12° C (37-54°F)
- the top layer subsoil called permafrost which includes gravel
- no deep rooted plants
- 1,700 kinds of plants in the arctic and subarctic
examples: low shrubs, sedges, reindeer mosses, liverworts, grasses , 400 varieties of flowers ,crustose and foliose lichen

Animal Life

Herbivorous mammals: lemmings, voles, caribou, arctic hares and squirrels , musk ox

Carnivorous mammals: arctic foxes, wolves, and polar bears
Migratory birds: ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, sandpipers, terns, snow birds(ie snowy owl), and various species of gulls
Insects: mosquitoes, flies, moths, grasshoppers, blackflies and arctic bumble bees
Fish: cod, flatfish, salmon, and trout

Alpine tundra

- located on mountains throughout the world at high altitude where trees cannot grow
- growing season 180 days
- tussock grasses, dwarf trees, small-leafed shrubs, and heaths


pikas, marmots, mountain goats, sheep, elk
Birds: grouselike birds
Insects: springtails, beetles, grasshoppers, butterflies

No comments:

Post a Comment