A biome, also known as life zones, consists of all plants, animals, and other organisms, as well the physical environment in a particular area. A biome is characterized by its’ plant life, climate, and location. The climate and physical features determine the boundaries of a biome. A biome is made up of many different ecosystems. The ecosystems tend to have the same pants and animals as neighboring biomes around the boundaries. The major biomes are the tundra, taiga, tropical rain forest, temperate forests, desert, grassland, savanna, chaparral, and marine. Each biome has it’s own characteristics such as the tundra.
The tundra is a biome that is located in the Northern Hemisphere of the world. It circles the North Pole and reaches down to the taiga. The tundra has a very cold and harsh climate, especially in the winters. The average winter temperatures is about -30°F and average summer temperatures is roughly 37-54°F. The yearly amount of precipitation, which includes melting snow, averages to about 6 to 10 inches. With these conditions it makes for a short growing season of about 50-60 days. In some parts it can be up to 180 days. This is only found in the more southern part of the tundra. Another aspect of the tundra includes the vegetation that is found there and the adaptations that have been made.
The tundra is known for its’ cold temperatures, but also its’ limited plant species. The growth of the vegetation is primarily low to the ground and the biomass of plants is concentrated in the roots. Here the plants reproduce more likely by division and building than by flower pollination. Some of that growthforms that you will find in the tundra include tussock, mats or cushion plants, rosettes, and dwarf shrubs. Other examples of plants include lichens, mosses, sedges, perennial forbs, dwarfed shrubs (heaths, birches, and willows), cotton grass, liverworts, and 400 varieties of flowers. Tundra plants over the years adapted to sweeping winds and disturbances of the soil. Another adaptation is that they are short and cluster together to help endure the cold. Also they can carry out photosynthesis at low temperatures and low light intensities. Plants aren’t the only things that have had to adapt to the conditions, animals have had to as well.
Animals of the tundra have had to adapt to the long cold winters and to having to raise their young quickly in the summer. Some other adaptations of animals include thick insulating cover of feathers or fur; large, compact bodies; pelage and plumage that turns white in the winter and brown in the summer; the ability to accumulate thick deposits of fat during the short growing season; hibernation; and migration. Some of the animals that are found living in the tundra are lemmings, voles, caribou, artic hares, squirrels, artic foxes, wolves, polar bear, ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, ravens, sandpipers, terns, snow birds, mosquitoes, flies, moths, grasshoppers, black flies,...