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Northern Ecology - Essay Example

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Your Date Northern Ecology INTRODUCTION Tundra is an ecology which is characterized by extremely low temperatures discouraging the growth of vegetation. There are three main types of tundra, the arctic, antarctic, and the alpine tundra…
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Download file to see previous pages The lack of vegetation is also due to cold winds that characterize the region. This results in a unique ecological system inhabited by exclusive organisms adapted for survival under such conditions. The climatic condition is, therefore, an integral aspect of the ecosystem that influences the distriburtion, population, and diversity of the organisms inhabiting such ecologies (Krupnik 12). The arctic tundra extends in the regions of Russia, Canada, and Iceland. Despite the harsh climatic conditions, the arctic tundra is an enabling environment for the survival of a number of plants and animals, which, therefore, create an effective ecosystem. Apart from the boreal forests, the region is inhabited with such unique animals as polar bear, arctic wolf, and fox. The animals have learnt the necessary skills to enable them survive the harsh winters and the long nights most of which last for months. The conditions are not favorable for most organisms. However, these animals among other organisms in the region have developed specific features to ensure that they survive in the climatic conditions. The fact that they have inhabited the regions for several years alludes to the development of adaptive features, which make the subsequent generations better prepared to live in the ecosystem. Just as in any other ecosystem, the animals relate and interact freely, thereby, constructing food chains and webs, which sustain the survival of all the animals. The most common herbivores in the ecosystem are arctic hare, caribous, and lemming among others. Such animals survive on the scanty vegetation in the region (Sperry 75). It includes such a vegetation as the leaves of the undergrowth of the boreal forest among any other rare plant. To survive under some of the worst climatic conditions in the region, most of the animals get into a period of reduced metabolic activities. During hibernation, the body consumes a decreased amount of energy, and the animals, therefore, does not eat since their bodies require a small amount of energy capable only of carrying out the basic metabolic processes such as breathing (Bruemmer 45). Through hibernation, therefore, the animals survive under the harsh climatic conditions and the lengthened night hours most of which consist of reduced metabolic activities. The animals make themselves sleep for months. This is an adaptive trait for most of the animals since the period is normally long and characterized by unfavorable ecological factors. No organism would, therefore, survive this period, a factor that substantiates the need for the long spell of sleep, the time within which the natural climatic factors change until they make a complete loop. They, therefore, begin to favor the increased activity in the ecosystem as the animals take the chance to hunt for food and to find mates, thereby, continuing the lineage of the species of the particular organisms. In the food chain, the herbivores provide food to an assortment of predators who employ a number of tactics to obtain food. This results in a survival of the fittest, the situation in which the predators try to obtain the scarce food while the prey also tries to evade the attack from their predators and, therefore, survive. Polar bears are among some of the most conspicuous predators in the ecosystem. They are carnivores and must kill other animals for survival. The animals are huge and are the most predominant in the ecosystem. They have a number of survival adaptations, which make their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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