Biomes Essay

529 Words 3 Pages
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
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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 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 fauna in the arctic is also diverse consisting of Herbivorous mammals, Carnivorous mammals, Migratory birds, and insects. Animals are adapted to handle long, cold winters and to breed and raise young quickly in the summer. Animals such as mammals and birds also have additional insulation from fat. Many animals hibernate during the winter because food is not abundant. Another alternative is to migrate south in the winter, like birds do.

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