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Abiotic Factors of the Tundra

abiotic factors of the tundra

Introduction to abiotic factors of the tundra

Tundra means land without trees and its come from the Finnish word tunturia, meaning treeless plain. This is found in the poles. Here plants grow only in summer when there is sunlight. Plants grow very close to the ground level. Examples of Tundra plants are moss, lichen and algae. During winter this region is completely covered by ice and snow. Here animals like arctic rabbits, arctic fox, reindeer, migratory birds, penguins and polar bears are seen. During warm season flies and mosquitoes are found.

The tundra has a low temperature and short growing season and during winter time everything is frozen but at the summer time the top layer of soil thaws. The layers that remain frozen are called permafrost. There are three types of tundra as follows artic tundra (found in artic region), alphine tundra (found at high elevation), and antartic tundra.

Characteristic features of Tundra

  1. cold climate
  2. small biotic diversity
  3. plain vegetation structure
  4. Short season of growth and reproduction
  5. Energy and nutrients in the form of dead organic material
  6. Large population oscillations

Abiotic factors on Tundra

The abiotic factors that influence Tundra are strong winds, rainfall, short summer days, long and cold winters, soil, permafrost layer. The average winter temperature of artic tundra is -34 degree Celsius and average summer temperature is 3-12 degree Celsius. Rainfall varies in different regions and precipitation (melting snow) less than 15 inches annually. A frozen subsoil called permafrost which exist in artic tundra, consisting of gravel and fine soil.

The growing season for alphine tundra is approximately 180 days and the nighttime temperature is generally below freezing and here soil is well drained. The cold temperature of alpine tundra is due to low air pressure. Antarctic tundra is usually cold and dry and some have rocky soil

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