TUNDRA BIOME Northern Canada

  • Precipitation ranges between min of 150 mm and max of 250 mm of rain each year.
  • Temperatures range from minimum of -40°C and max of 18°C.
  • The Northern Canadian Tundra is described as being like a desert but cold and covered with ice. Temperatures stay below zero 6-10 months out of the year. The winters stay cold and dark. There are only 2 seasons with winter, which lasts most of the year, and summer which is very short and mild.


Tundra lands consist of barren ice. Polar tundras receive less than 10 inches of rainfall per year. Tundras have a net primary productivity of 600 per kilocalorie/square meter/year, whereas rain forests have the highest primary productivity of 9000 kilocalorie/square meter/year. Compared to the other biomes, Tundras and deserts are tied with last place for net primary productivity. This means that the land is not very useful and productive for growing crops due to poor nutrition in soil and layer of permafrost. Also, lack of exposure to the sun makes is hard for plants to photosynthesize. Polar Tundras have no growing season at all whereas rainforests are growing seasons all year long. Typically polar tundras are between 55-70 degrees latitude.


In a polar tundra the soil lacks a lot of nutrients needed for plants to grow. The under layer of soil remains completely frozen not allowing plant roots to go very deep. This layer is called permafrost. Also, the long winters contribute to the very small amount of exposure to the sun, making it hard for plants to grow. All of this contributes to the lack of vegetation in a tundra.


Canadian Geese

These birds are invasive because they overpopulate and have no local predators. They take over the food supply for animals that are native to the tundra.


The arctic weasel is an invasive species that affect the food supply for native predators. They eat small rodents while hiding behind higher order predators in the area.

Polar Bear

The polar bear is an endangered species due to climate change. The ice that is melting is causing their food supply to disappear.


The caribou is an endangered species due to climate change. The increases temperatures are causing increased rainfall. The increased rainfall is making the mosses and plants they feed on be buried under the snow.



Lemmings are so successful in the tundra because they are able to burrow so deep into the snow. This helps keep them warm and keep them safe from predators. Their insulated fur also helps them to survive.

Arctic Hares

Arctic hares are so successful in tundra because they are able to bend in with the snow. Also, they hang out in groups which helps provide warmth and protection. If one reacts they all react.

Ground Squirrel

Ground squirrels are so successful because they are able to burrow in the winter. The cold allows their heart to snow and they sink into a semi-vegetative state. They are also able to burrow so deep to hide from predators surviving on the air bubbles in the snow.


Arctic Moss

Aquatic plant that has learned to store more energy when not growing. Grows near water and close to the ground to avoid harsh winds.

Pasque Flower

This plant is most successful because it grows close to the ground and has tiny hairs on stem to help insulate it and keep it warm in such cold conditions.

Dimond leaf willow

This soft bendable plant grows low along the tundra floor. Growing lows allows it to avoid cold winds. The premature leafs are picked and used as a source of vitamins.


Created with images by diapicard - "sunrise winter northern"

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