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22 Extraordinary Tundra Biome Facts for Kids

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A Brief Overview of the Tundra Biome:

Tucked away near the North Pole in the Arctic Circle, the tundra biome is a diverse ecology. All other biomes are much warmer than this one. Cold weather is common throughout the winter months, with temperatures often falling below -34° C.

Despite the fact that the summers are only approximately two months long, the temperatures are still quite low, ranging from 3° to 12° C. Despite the fact that it is exposed to such severe temperatures, this biome nonetheless supports life. The habitat supports a variety of animals, insects, and plants.

Characteristics of the Tundra Biome

  • Extremely cold weather conditions.
  • Low levels of biotic diversity.
  • Structure of the vegetation is straightforward.
  • Drainage capacity is restricted.
  • Growth and reproduction are restricted to a short season.
  • Nutrients and energy are found in the form of dead and decomposing organic matter.
  • Large population oscillations are seen.

Facts about the Tundra Biome that are Worth Knowing:

1. ‘Tundra’ is derived from the Finnish term tunturia, which literally translates as “treeless land.”

2. The tundra ecosystem has seasonal fluctuations in animal numbers. The winter months are a time when some animals choose to hibernate while others travel to warmer climes.

3. Because of the severe temperatures, the majority of organisms get their nourishment from the rotting organic matter that has died.

tundra biome facts alpine tundra
Apline Tundra: By Jeffrey Pang | CCA2.0 Generic | Public Domain

4. In mountain or alpine tundra, birds, sheep, mountain goats, and marmots dwell and feed on the low-lying flora and insects that have adapted to the environment. A way for hardy flora such as cushion plants to thrive in mountainous areas is to grow in rock depressions, where the temperature is higher and they are protected from the wind.

5. The Arctic tundra, where the typical temperature ranges from -30 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or -34 to -6 degrees Celsius, is home to a diverse range of animal species, including Arctic foxes, grey wolves, caribou,  musk oxen, polar bears, and snow geese.

6. Regardless of the fact that certain portions of populated places, such as Alaska and Canada, are regarded to be part of the tundra biome, the vast bulk of the tundra has not been seen by most humans due to the severe conditions that exist.

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7. Because it absorbs more carbon dioxide than it emits, the tundra biome is referred to be a carbon dioxide sink.

8. The tundra biome is characterized by the presence of few trees. Under the snow and ice, there is a thick layer of soil that has remained frozen, making it impossible for deep-rooted plants such as trees to establish themselves.

9. The tundra biome is home to over 400 different flowering plants, yet just 48 distinct animal species are found there.

10. The tundra biome encompasses around 20% of the Earth’s land surface.

11. The tundra biome includes Antarctica despite the fact that it is not situated inside the Arctic Circle. This is due to the extreme cold that exists there.

12. Earth’s tundra biome is known for being the driest location on the planet. The average annual rainfall is 10 inches.

13. There are 24 hours of daylight each day throughout the summer months.

14. In the tundra biome, there are several oil mines and oil rigs. The construction of such projects often has a negative impact on the environment’s delicate balance.

15. The polar bear is the biggest mammal found in the arctic ecosystem. They thrive on fatty foods, which provide them with the energy they need to survive the hard winter months.

tundra biome in siberia
Tundra Biome in Siberia | By Dr. Andreas Hugentobler | CCA2.0 Germany | Public Domain

16. Arctic tundra and alpine tundra are the two forms of tundra that exist. An area of arctic tundra is found inside the Arctic Circle, whilst an area of alpine tundra may be found high in the mountains above trees.

17. It is common for plants to grow in clusters in the tundra biome in order to shelter themselves from the harsh winter winds.

18. The most serious hazard to the ecology is that these areas contain around one-third of the world’s soil-bound carbon. This carbon is released into the atmosphere during the summer months when the permafrost thaws and contributes to the global warming phenomenon.

19. Alpine Tundra is found above the tree line in high mountain ranges, while Arctic Tundra is found inside the Arctic Circle.

20. Located in the Northern Hemisphere, the Arctic Tundra has a low level of biodiversity in its environment. Permafrost soil can be found in the vicinity of the North Pole, and the soil in this region is referred to as “permafrost,” which literally translates as “permanently frozen soil.”

21. The Alpine Tundra is a mountainous area of the planet that is located in the northern hemisphere. Because of the severe winters, Alpine vegetation is limited to just grasses and shrubs.

22. Another form of tundra habitat is seen in Antarctica. It  is located at the southern pole. The temperature is below freezing, and there are around 300 different types of lichens, 700 different types of water algae, and around 100 different types of mosses can be found.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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