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The Arctic Tundra!

Biogeochemical cycles.
by

Jennifer Ledford

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of The Arctic Tundra!

The Arctic Tundra Carbon Cycle Carbon Cycle, is the series of natural processes by which carbon in the air is made available to living things, is used by them, and is then returned to the air. Carbon is the fourth-most abundant chemical element in the universe and forms the building blocks of the abiotic world along with hydrogen and oxygen. Carbon is an important element that forms a blanket around the earth. It traps the heat of the sun within the atmosphere and hence prevents the earth from freezing. There is a constant exchange of carbon between the biotic and the abiotic world, thus forming a cycle which is called the Carbon Cycle. The Carbon cycle is basically a two step process involving photosynthesis and respiration. Green plants undergo both photosynthesis and respiration. Carbon is "cycled" from green plants to the atmosphere and back to the plant. Carbon Through the Tundra Permafrost Carbon Cycle The Arctic Tundra Nitrogen Cycle Nitrogen makes up 79% of the atmosphere (N2). Nitrogen is always moving, going from the air to the ground and then into plants and animals. In order for the plants and animals to benefit from nitrogen, the nitrogen will change into compounds that can be used by organisms. When changing nitrogen into other useful components that are compatible with plants and animals, the process of nitrogen fixation will take place. The two types of bacteria used in the nitrification process are the nitrosomonas and the nitrobacters. These bacteria takes in the nitrogen from the atmosphere and change it into ammonia (NH3). Then other bacteria take the ammonia and produce nitrates(NO3-) and nitrites(NO2-). For plants, the nitrates and nitrites is absorbed through the roots, turning the substance into protein and nucleic acids. Animals then benefit from this process by eating the plants. When the animals die or release waste, decomposes brake it down and convert the nitrogen found there into ammonia then special bacteria change that to nitrogen and release it back into the atmosphere. Nitrogen Cycle Through the Tundra In the tundra the nitrogen cycle is controlled by the snow. If there is snow there is an abundance of nitrogen. This is because snow forms in the atmosphere, and since the atmosphere is 79% nitrogen, snow can absorb a fair amount of it.Permafrost in the tundra affects the cycle when nitrogen from dead animals gets stuck in the permafrost. When the permafrost is thawed out it is released into the air causing an excess of nitrogen. Nitrogen cycles are inter linked to carbon cycles because the decomposition of carbon in organic soil by microbes and the photosynthetic uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide by plants is depended on the nitrogen available in the area. Biogeochemical Cycles The arctic tundra is a biome that has:
Extremely cold climate
Low biotic diversity
Simple vegetation structure
Short season of growth and reproduction
Energy and nutrients in the form of dead organic material


Tundra is found mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere it is found on isolated islands off the coast of Antarctica as well as the Antarctic peninsula itself.


This tundra has the least amount of vegetation of any biome. Most of the plants that grow there are low lying plants such as shrubs, bushes, and lichen.


Animals that live in the arctic tundra include polar bears, arctic foxes, caribou, and snowy owls. They have thick fur to protect them from the harsh conditions in the far north. This is a sub cycle of the carbon cycle. When animals and plants die, microbes feed on the organic matter and release the carbon back into the cycle. However, in the Arctic Tundra the dead matter becomes frozen and cannot be decomposed and therefor the carbon is taken out of the cycle. With the global warming that is taking place now, a lot of the permafrost in the tundra is melting and is being released back into the cycle. This could be a problem because with all of the carbon that has been taken out of the cycle being put back in we have no way of knowing how it will effect the cycle or in which form it will return-carbon dioxide (C2) or Methane (CH4). In addition to adding carbon back into the cycle the permafrost carbon cycle can also add excess nitrogen into the cycle that has been frozen. Carbon Cycle Through Animals Laydon Hutchins
Daniel Juarez
Jennifer Ledford
Kaitlyn McMinn In the Arctic Tundra, the carbon cycles through the atmosphere and the organisms on the ground such as lichen, arctic hares, and arctic foxes. The plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, then the primary consumers, such as arctic hares, eat the plants and thus take carbon from the plants. Then the higher level consumers, such as arctic foxes, eat the primary consumers and thus take a portion of the carbon it had obtained. While the consumers are alive, they release carbon into the atmosphere through respiration. After the consumers and plants die, then decomposers break them down and release carbon back into the environment. Where is it found? Vegetation Animals Carbon stored in the arctic permafrost What are the impacts on the future arctic climate system?. Retrieved from http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_4271_f10/presentations/Carbon_Storage_GEOG5271.pdf
Chm 110 - chemistry and issues in the environment. (1995, April 09). Retrieved from http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/onlcourse/chm110/chm110.HTML
Kids crossing cycles of the earth system. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://eo.ucar.edu/kids/green/cycles1.htm
Making the forest and tundra wildlife connection. (1991, January 14). Retrieved from http://alaska.fws.gov/fire/role/unit1/making_connection.cfm
Permafrost carbon cycle. In (2012). A. McGuire (Ed.), Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permafrost_carbon_cycle
Sagoff, G. (2000). thawing tundra a new climate threat. 1-1. doi: http://www.anl.gov/articles/thawing-tundra-new-climate-thret
Picture Sources

http://www.ftsenvironmental.com/blog/files/arctic.tundra.jpg
http://www.zina-studio.com/img/s4/v11/p421344910-3.jpg Resources
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