Alaskan Arctic Tundra By Sarah Nativi

Climate in the Arctic Tundra

  • There is an average of 6 to 10 inches of rain or snow per year in the arctic tundra.
  • The high temperatures in midsummer can be around 66.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The low temperatures in the winter can be as low as negative 66.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • There are generally two seasons in the arctic tundra which are winter and summer.
  • The summers are extremely short and usually only last 6-10 weeks.
  • The arctic tundra was made for plants and animals that can live through harsh conditions.
Climatogram of the Alaskan Arctic Tundra

Net Primary Productivity

The arctic tundra is generally found in the northern hemisphere and at a latitude and longitude of 71.2 degrees N and 156 degrees W. The arctic tundra also has a low Net Primary Productivity compared to the other biomes. The majority of the other biomes have at least 2000 Kilocalories per square meter per year, but the arctic tundra has only 600. They also only have 2 per day which is extremely low as well. The only similar biome is the desert because they have a low amount of rainfall and take up 33% of earth's land surface.

Soil Quality

The soil quality in the arctic tundra is very poor and there are hardly an nutrients found in it. There is an under-layer of soil called the permafrost which stays frozen year long. This means that there is hardly any room for deep rooting trees. Most of the soil is used for shrubs and other plants who can withstand the harsh conditions to grow in.

Invasive and Endangered Species in the Arctic Tundra

Invasive Arctic Poppies

The Arctic Poppy became an invasive species by accident. They are mainly found in the harsh conditions of the northernmost part of Scandinavia, but have been accidentally brought to Alaska and have grown rapidly overtime. They can withstand extreme cold so are not hurt by living in the arctic tundra in Alaska.

Endangered Wood Bison

The Wood Bison is endangered because of a combination of overharvesting and habitat distribution which are the "H" and "O" in HIPPCO. There has been an increase in the hunting of Wood Bison over the past years which has caused the species to become endangered (O in HIPPCO). There has also been some habitat loss (H in HIPPCO).

Animals in the Arctic Tundra

Arctic Fox

The Arctic Fox has adapted to grow thick fur to protect them from the cold temperatures and it also changes colors with the seasons the blend into the environment. It also has small, pointy ears to hear small prey.

Caribou

The Caribou migrate to avoid the harsh winters and have stocky bodies with short tails to keep heat from escaping the body during the harshest temperatures.

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owls have white feathers to blend in with the snow in the environments they tend to live in such as the arctic tundra. They also have a dense layer of down which is covered by a thick layer of feathers to keep heat from escaping the body.

Harlequin Duck

The Harlequin Duck has extremely tactful diving skills which help to provide them with food in the winters when there are less options. This also helps them survive when there are stormy or harsh waters.

Plants in the Arctic Tundra

Bearberry

The Bearberry has adapted to grow low to the ground so it will stay out of the wind chill. It also has silky hairs to keep it warm in the harsh winters.

Caribou Moss

The Caribou Moss has adapted to produce its own food. It also can go for long periods of time without water which is useful because of there is a very small average precipitation per year in the Arctic Tundra.

Labrador Tea

The Labrador Tea has adapted to have fuzzy leaves that are also curled to absorb moisture out of the air which helps the plant live with the small amount of precipitation in the Arctic Tundra. The leaves also prevent water loss which helps with the same conditions.

Pasque Flower

The Pasque Flower stays low to the ground which is similar to many other plants in the Arctic Tundra which protects the plant from some of the cold. It also has silky hairs which insulate the plant to keep the heat in.

Credits:

Created with images by madpai - "Bright Light at Midnight"

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