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Transcript of Arctic Tundra
January 9, 2013
Mitzie L. Sowell, PhD lichens grass moss flowers berries leaves lemmings caribou rock ptarmigan arctic hare musk oxen voles snowy owl arctic wolf arctic fox penguins polar bears seals krill arctic terns fungi bacteria Consumers penguins
gyrfalcon Producers caribou moss
aquatic arctic moss
diamond leaf willow
labrador tea Decomposers fungi
bacteria Potential Hazards Global warming due to the climate change is causing the permafrost to thaw, which is releasing additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is creating an additional abundance of greenhouse gases causing the Earth to heat up much faster (Beyond Penguins And Polar Bears, n.d.). Since the climate is changing and getting warmer much sooner, this is affecting the biotic factors such as the producers and consumers in this bio dome. Scientists are concerned that the major increase in the temperature is going to create an unbalance in the producers and consumers. The producers or green vegetation will be emerging before the mating offspring are born to eat them. This is an increasing issue with caribou calves and the birds. The birds flight patterns are also changing due to the major change in weather (Beyond Penguins And Polar Bears, n.d.). Abiotic Factors The arctic tundra is an extremely cold frigid climate where there is a very low biodiversity of animals and plants. In this biome there is about 48 different species of land mammals such as the arctic fox, arctic wolf, polar bear, musk oxen, and the arctic hare. Within this biodiversity of animals are many different variation to each of these species. Having a lower biodiversity in this region allows for all life to be able to find food and survive as one ecosystem. But since there are less animals and plants compared to other ecosystems, any change can cause an unbalance. For example, if the lemmings and voles died out what would the snowy owl eat to get its energy? The snowy owl would eat smaller birds causing a major change in the food web (Buzzle, 2013). Some other abiotic factors in this biome are short growing seasons, simple plants, short summers, permafrost, oil, uranium, manganese, very little precipitation, and poor nutrients because of the permafrost (The Wonderful World of the Arctic Tundra, n.d.). Summary of food web The bottom of my food web has the sun, the source of energy that creates the producers. Just above the sun are the producers such as moss, grass, berries, flowers, and lichens. right above these producers are the primary consumers, the animals that only eat plants and vegetation. These animals are the arctic hare, pika, lemming, caribou, rock ptarmigan, musk oxen, and the vole. I have marked the lines drawn from the producers to the primary consumers in blue and then marked the lines from the secondary consumers in red to make it less confusing. Then above the primary consumers are the secondary consumers, which eat the primary consumers or other life other than vegetation. These are the snow bunting, snowy owl, arctic wolf, arctic fox, gyrfalcon, ermine, penguins, polar bears, seals, and arctic terns. Then above all of the consumers are the decomposers the fungi and the bacteria. The decomposers are the most important part of the food web because they help to break down all organic material and return the nutrients back to the soil to feed the producers, which feeds the consumers (Beyond Penguins And Polar Bears). Animals of the Arctic Tundra gyrfalcon snow bunting insects pika ermine Reference page The Animal Spot. (2008). Tundra Animals. Retrieved from http://www.tundraanimals.net/
Beyond Penguins And Polar Bears. (n.d.). Life in the Tundra. Retrieved from http://beyondpenguins.ehe.osu.edu/issue/tundra-life-in-the-polar-extremes/life-in-the-tundra
The wonderful World of the Arctic Tundra. (n.d.). The Amazing Arctic Tundra. Retrieved from http://wonderfularctictundra.weebly.com/index.html
Buzzle.com. (2013). Tundra Biome: Plants and Animals. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/tundra-biome-tundra-plants-and-animals.html
TonyAple. (2012). Learn About Arctic Tundra Animals- HQ. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DkhHOS_Fxw
Wild facts. (2010). Wild Facts # 585 The Snow Birds- Snow Bunting. Retrieved from http://www.wild-facts.com/tag/snow-bunting-facts/
BirdWeb. (n.d.). Arctic Tern. Retrieved from http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/arctic_tern
Nature Works. (2013). American Pika- Ochotona princeps. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/americanpika.htm
A-Z Animals. (2012). Lemming. retrieved from http://a-z-animals.com/animals/lemming/
Arctic Voles (n.d.). Arctic Voles. Retrieved from http://voles.com/Arctic_Voles.htm
Switch Zoo. (2012). Arctic Wolf. Retrieved from http://www.switcheroozoo.com/profiles/arcticwolf.htm
Animal Spot. (2013). Gyrfalcon. retrieved from http://www.animalspot.net/gyrfalcon.html
Animals Town. (n.d.). Ermine. retrieved from http://www.animalstown.com/animals/e/ermine/ermine.html
Aquatic Community. (2009). Emperor Penguins Predators. Retrieved from http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/penguins/emperor/predators.php
National Geographic. (2013). Krill. Retrieved from http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/krill/
National geographic. (2013). Harp Seal. Retrieved from http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/harp-seal/
The arctic fox diet consist of voles, lemmings, small birds, eggs, and berries. The gyrfalcon eats the arctic fox, but not many other animals because they are higher up on the food web. The adaptations on this animal is its thick fur both on its body and its paws. This helps it survive in extreme temperatures. Also this fox is much smaller and has smaller ears, these are designed to keep the animal warmer (The Animal Spot, 2008). The arctic hares diet is berries, moss, grass, and other vegetation. This animal has adapted to the extreme temperatures with their very large hind legs which helps them move fast through the snow. There coat is thicker in the winter and changes color in the summer to blend in to its surroundings. The arctic hares predators are the snowy owl, ermine, gyrfalcon, and the arctic wolf (The Animal Spot, 2008). Polar bears are at the top of the food web and eat seals, dead whales, walruses, caribou, and musk oxen. The skin of the polar bear is black and the fur is clear, which helps this animal absorb heat. Also with their small short ears they do not lose as much heat and stay warmer. Man is the only know predator to this animal (The Animal Spot, 2008). The End Caribou are also called reindeer and their diet is many types of vegetation such as willow leaves, caribou moss, lichens, and grass. These animals have much thicker fur and skin than the average deer which allows them to live in such frigid temperatures. Their very wide hooves help them to dig the permafrost and swim through the icy rivers in the short summers in the tundra (The Animal Spot, 2008). This very large oxen eats willow shoots, lichens, grasses, shrubs, and most of the vegetation in the tundra. This animal has an outer coat and an inner coat to keep them warm from the extreme temperatures. The inner coat is called a qiviut and is very heavy wool. Their predators are the arctic fox, arctic wolf, and the polar bear The Animal Spot, 2008). This larger bird is called a rock ptarmigan and their diet is leaves, berries, flowers, and other forms of vegetation. These birds molt their feather many times a year to blend in with the season from their predators. Their predators are the arctic fox, gyrfalcon, the arctic wolf, and the snowy owl (The Animal Spot, 2008). The snowy owl's diet is mainly small rodents such as the lemming, and vole. They will also eat arctic hares, ptarmigan, bird eggs, and other birds. These beautiful; creatures have a layer of feathers all over their bodies and their feet to be able to survive the tundra. Their predators are the ermines, people, and arctic foxes ( The Animal Spot, 2008). These birds are called snow bunting and their diet is seeds, insects, spiders, and tiny crustaceans. The birds predators are the snowy owl, arctic fox, and the gyrfalcon. These birds have feathers on their feet to help protect them from the extreme cold (Wild Facts, 2010). These birds are called the arctic tern and their diet consists of fish, crustaceans, krill, and insects. Their predators are polar bears, seals, and whales. These birds are adapted to their environment by how far they can fly. They are excellent fliers and spend most of their time flying except when they molt their feathers (BirdWeb, n.d.). This rodent is the pika and it eats grass, sedges, flowers, and other green vegetation. These animals have brown and grey coats that help them blend into the environment and survive among their predators. Their predators are the gyrfalcon, snowy owl, and the arctic fox (Nature Works, 2013). This small multicolored rodent is called the lemming and they eat blubs, shoots, grass, flowers, seeds, and other green vegetation in the tundra. They have a very thick fury coat and do not hibernate to survive the harsh climate. Their predators are ermine, arctic fox, arctic wolf, and the snowy owl ( A-Z Animals, 2012). On the bottom of the page there is a rodent called a vole. They can dig far into the snowy ground and find food and green leave and grass to eat through out the winter months to survive. Their diet consists of berries, shoots, dwarf shrubs, and grass. Their predators are mainly weasels such as the ermine, but the snow owl and arctic fox will also eat them too (Arctic Voles, n.d.). The arctic wolf diet is on other animals, musk oxen, caribou, arctic foxes, ptarmigan, lemmings, seals, nesting birds, arctics hares, and eggs. Their predators are polar bears, other wolves, and humans. These wolves are smaller than other wolves and have smaller ears and shorter legs to reduce the cold frigid air from the extreme temperatures. They also have a very thick coat (Switch Zoo, n.d.). The ermine is a type of weasel that lives in the harsh tundra. Their diet is canovorius and they are higher on the food web than you would think. These animals eat small birds, eggs, frogs, fish, insects, squirrels, lemmings, arctic hares, voles, and ptarmigans. Their predators are mainly the arctic fox, snowy owls, and arctic wolves. These creatures have adapted to the harsh environment with their thick white coat to keep them warm (Animals Town, n.d.). These are the largest falcons in the world. They eat arctic hares, small birds, large birds, small rodents, and voles. Their predators are mainly humans because they are at the top of the food web. These birds are very large and carnivorous and have adapted as the top of the food web (Animal Spot, n.d.). Krill are small microscopic organisms that eat phytoplankton in the ocean. These small organisms are eaten by many different animals in the arctic tundra such as penguins, fish, and birds. These very small creatures are very important for this boime to survive and without them many different species would die (National Geographic, 2013). In the arctic tundra there are emperor penguins and king penguins. This is a picture of emperor penguins. Their diet consists of krill, fish, and squid. Not many animals eat them except ocras, and leopard seals. Their thick coats and additional blubber on thier bodies helps them survive in these conditions (Aquatic Community, 2009). This picture is of a harp seal they are found in the arctic tundra biome. Their diet is fish, krill, and other crustaceans. Their main predators are humans because of their thick white fur coats. These seals carry extra blubber just like the penguin that keeps their bodies warm when they are in the water or out on the land in the very cold temperatures (National Geographic, 2013).