Tundra Biome Siberian Tundra

Climate of the Northern Siberian Tundra

Tundra biomes cover approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and can be found in the northern hemisphere of Europe, Asia, and North America. The Siberian Tundra in specific is found across north eastern Russia just below the polar ice cap. In these areas of the world, it stays below freezing most of the year, however, there is a very short period of summer when some ice and snow begin to melt. The tundra is classified as the coldest, driest biome.

Average Rainfall Min: 150mm, Max: 250mm

Average Temperature Min: -40 degrees C, Max: 18 degrees C

Net Primary Productivity

The tundra biome is typically found between the latitudes of 55 and 70 degrees. Each year this biome averages 600 kilocalories/square meter/year or approximately 2 kilocalories/square meter/day. Compared to other biomes, this is extremely low. Forest biomes range on average 6000-9000 kilocalories/square meter/year. This is a direct result of the climate and the quality of the land. Due to the harsh conditions, the tundra terrain is barren. It gets less than 10 inches (or 250mm) of rainfall per year and has no growing season. These conditions result in little to no diversity because a multitude or wide range of species could not thrive in this biome. The tundra is home to less than 2,000 different species as opposed to the rain forest which houses nearly 10 million different species.Despite its inability to yield plant and animal growth through photosynthesis or respiration processes, this biome takes up approximately 20% of the Earth's land surface. The tundra and desert biome combined make up nearly 1/3 of the entire Earth's land surface.

Soil Quality

The tundra's soil is, like as stated above, extremely barren. It's lack of precipitation makes it similar to a desert. Below the top layer of soil, there is a permanently frozen layer of Earth known as permafrost. During the short period of summer, the top layer of soil may thaw just enough to allow little plant growth but there is almost no vegetation in the tundra. Melting snow and thawing soil cannot sink past the permafrost, further into the soil, so thus created lakes and other marsh like areas.

Invasive and Endangered

Endangered

The Arctic Fox is a native species of most tundra biomes but is now facing the risk of extinction. This species losing habitat to an invasive species (invasive species in HIPPCO), the Red Fox. As more Red Foxes settle into the tundra biome, less food and land are available for the Arctic Fox to thrive on. Climate change also plays a role in this endangerment. The tundra temperatures have been increasing causing the Arctic Fox to need to migrate further north (climate change in HIPPCO).

Invasive

The Pine Tree is an invasive species to the tundra biome. This species was planted in the tundra to increase forest and habitat size. However, this plant species uses a majority of what little resources, such as nutrients and sunlight, other plant species also rely on which forces them out and declines their population.

Animals in the Tundra

The Caribou has a double coat of fur which keeps the animal warm and dry in the tundra biome. The split shape of their hooves helps them to walk on snow and ice.

The Arctic Wolf has a thick coat of fur and small hairs between the pads on their paws to keep warm in freezing temperatures. Their pack dynamics have also adapted to better suit the demanding environment. Only the alpha male and females can reproduce to keep population size limited and ensure proper distribution of resources.

The Arctic Hare's white fur allows it to blend in with its snowy surroundings and hide from predators. They have adapted their eating habits to feed on most plants and even some smaller species that are naturally found in the tundra biome. They have also adapted to make nested under rocks and moss to keep warm in the freezing temperatures.

Plants in the Tundra

Arctic Moss is one of the few plants to grow in the tundra. It covers the ground and warms it which allows other plants to be able to grow. Migrating animals in this biome use the moss as food and a habitat/home.

Bearberry is a plant found naturally in the tundra biome that many native animals feed on. Its leathery textured leaves and keep act as a protection from the climate and its low height keeps it out of extreme wind chill.

The Pasque flower, like most other arctic or tundra plants, grows low to the ground to keep out of harsh winds. Its silky fine hair help keep it from freezing and protected from climate.

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