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Essay Paper – Tundra Biome

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    Tundra Biome {draw:frame} {draw:frame} The arctic tundra can be found in the northern hemisphere, encircling the North Pole and extending to the coniferous forest of taiga. Some specific locations of the arctic tundra include Northern America (Northern Alaska, Canada, and Greenland), Northern Europe (Scandinavia), and Northern Asia (Siberia). The alpine tundra can be found in the mountains throughout the world at high altitudes where trees are unable to grow. They can be found in Northern America (Alaska, Canada, U.

    S. A. , and Mexico), Northern Europe (Finland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden), Asia (Southern Asia-Himalayan Mountains and Japan-Mt. Fuji), Africa (Mt. Kilimajaro), and South America (Andes Mountains). {draw:frame} The average temperature of the tundra is 18°F (-28°C). In the summer the temperature can range from 37°F (3°C) to 54°F (12°C). Due to the cold weather that there is year-round, the ground is permanently frozen 10 inches to 3 feet down. This type of frozen ground is called Permafrost.

    The permafrost causes no trees to grow and only the low plant to grow. Although there isn’t much precipitation going on in the tundra, there is still 6-10 inches which includes mostly melted snow. Since there isn’t much precipitation, there aren’t a lot of plants or vegetation except in the summer months when the snow melts enough to let the plants grow and reproduce. Sunlight in the tundra is very limited due to the position of the sun in the sky. There can be up to 2 months of darkness.

    The time when the sun is out during the summer months there is only a low intensity light. The wind in the tundra usually occurs at 30 to 60 miles per hour. The soil isn’t a true soilbecause of the Permafrost developed, the freeze-thaw activity, a thin active layer, and solidification. This soil is moist and thin over the permafrost; furthermore the soil has low nutrients and is also slightly acidic. The Permafrost serves as a barrier to keep animals from burrowing down into the Earth.

    Soil may thaw during the summer months and creates ponds and bogs. {draw:frame} The plant life of the tundra are only low growing plants like willows, sedges, mosses, grasses, wildflowers, and lichens. The animal life includes caribou, reindeer, musk oxen, wolves, ptarmigans, snow geese, tunelra swans, dall sheep, brown bears, and small rodents. During the summer when the soil thaws slightly there are mosquitoes, black flies, ducks, geese, and predator birds. Two of the endangered animals are the penguins and the polar bears.

    They are endangered due to human activities. Lichen consists of a specific alga and a specific fungus in a symbiotic relationship making them act as a single plant. Humans have a great impact on the tundra and it is greater now than ever before. There are disturbances associated with resource exploitation, fire management, and altered grazing. Also there is pollution of chemicals, gases, and oil threatening life. So I would say that humans have a pretty negative effect of the tundra.

    Not only do humans have an impact on the tundra, but the tundra also has an impact on humans and the national/world economies. Some positive effects are movies made that were inspired by the tundra such as Ice Age, Madagascar, Snow Dogs, 8 Below, White Fang, and Polar Express. Also there are books inspired by the include Into the Wild and White Fang. There are also some negative effects that the tundra has on the world such as the industrial activity that adds to environmental problems. Bibliography http://www. ucmp. berkeley. edu/exhibits/biomes/tundra. hp online http://www. blueplanetbiomes. org/tundra. htm online http://www. cotf. edu/ete/modules/msese/earthsysflr/tundra. html online http://www. marietta. edu/~biol/biomes/tundra. htm online http://www. radford. edu/~swoodwar/CLASSES/GEOG235/biomes/tundra/tunill. html online http://www. ulapland. fi/home/vies/ajankohtaista/kide/Kide4_2000/Forbes. htm online http://www. scionline. org/index. php/Category:Arctic_Tundra online Towle, Albert. Modern Biology. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Austin, TX. 1999. Pages 425-426

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