Antarctica Polar tundra By: Maddie Barker

Climate

  • Average Rainfall- Max: 24in. per year, Min: 2in. per year
  • Average Temperature- Max: -16°F (highest recorded temp:-8.5°F), Min: -74°F (lowest recorded temp: -117.5°F)
  • One of the coldest climates on earth, has a desert climate: almost no precipitation, air humidity near zero, high winds can cause snow fall. Has only two polar seasons: summer and winter.

Net Primary Productivity

In a polar tundra, the net Primary Productivity(kilocalories/square meter/year) is significantly less than most biomes. The kilocalories per day is also extremely lower. This biome has no frost free nights and less than 10 in. of rainfall per year. The polar Tundra has the same type of land as a desert: Barren ice, sand tundra desert. Both biomes take up 33% of Earth's land surface.

Soil Quality

The ice-free area of Antarctica is less than 0.4% of the continent. Out of the ice-free regions, 90% are soil forming. The soil iscold desert soils and classified as Anhyorthels where depth to ice-cemented permafrost

Invasive and Endangered

Blue Whale

The enormous size of the blue whale caused its downfall. Whalers hunted this animal for large quantities of oil and meat that it provided (OVER CONSUMPTION). Collisions with vessels, entanglement with fishing gear, reduced zooplankton production due to HABITAT DEGRADATION.

King Crabs

1.5 million crabs already inhabit Palmer Deep due the accidental warmer waters from the ocean depths intruding onto the continental shelf.

Animals in the Biome

Chinstrap Penguin

Chinstrap penguins are successful in Antarctica because they catch prey by pursuit-diving using their flippers to ‘fly’ through the water. Their stomachs adapted to the ice by becoming softer to slide farther distances.

Crabeater seal

The Crabeater Seal has an adaption to slither over land fairly well and they range farther onto continental Antarctica. Crabeater seals have specialized krill-filtering cusps on their teeth to trap their prey.

Emperor Penguin

The emperor penguin has adapted its coat to four layers of scale-like feathers protect them from icy winds and provide a waterproof coat. They also are successful because on the ice masses, they use strong claws on their feet to help grip the surface as they shuffle.

Plants in the Antarctica polar desert

Antarctic pearlwort

The antarctic pearlwort can withstand extreme cold and dry temperatures. They also can undergo photosynthesis at freezing point.

antarctic hair grass

The antarctic hair grass can withstand extreme cold and dry temperatures. They also can undergo photosynthesis at freezing point.

antarctic algae

Antarctic algae like (cyanobacteria, fungi and yeast) can thrive in harsh conditions and their tiny cellular structure is able to withstand extended periods of freezing and in summer may be thawed and frozen several times a day.

Credits:

Created with images by Christopher.Michel - "Antartica" • dave and rose - "Blue Whale, Maby a Minke" • popofatticus - "cyclops the crab" • Jumilla - "Penguin" • NOAA Photo Library - "fish8907" • fxxu - "penguin emperor penguin pingu"

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