Tundra natural zone, soil, climate, animals and plants

One of the most remote zones from civilization is tundra. She is beautiful and unusual in her own way. Despite the harsh climate and prolonged winters, life is boiling here. In the tundra you can meet interesting representatives of the flora and fauna. It is interesting to note that this area is the youngest natural zone of the world. Historians believe that its formation occurred only 10,000 years ago. The tundra is located in the northern parts of Asia, Europe and North America, as well as in the high mountains of the Middle Shit and the distant regions of Oceania and South America.

Description of the zone

Tundra is one of the varieties of natural zones. In Eurasia, it occupies the coast of the seas of the Arctic Ocean and the adjacent territories. Its area is about 1/8 of the entire area of ​​the country 11 563 300 km². In addition, the largest rivers of Eurasia Yenisei, Lena and Ob flow through the territory of the tundra.

This area is characterized by eternalfree soil, not poured by sea or river waters, harsh climatic conditions, a high level of humidity. Tundra is located north of the Taiga zone. It is interesting to note that its southern border is taken as the beginning of the Arctic. On the north side of the tundra is limited by the area of ​​the Arctic deserts.

The very word “tundra” comes from the Finnish “tunturi”, which means “treeless, naked hill”. The indigenous peoples in colloquial speech call the native lands “Sendukha”.


Tundra is in the zone of the subarctic belt. Here is a rather harsh climate that not all animals and plants are able to endure. Since the main part of the tundra is behind the polar circle, winter is the longest season here. It can last from 6 to 9 months. At this time, the temperature of the thermometer drops below30 ° C. Winter is accompanied by strong snowstorms. Often the winds of wind are knocked down even large animals. In the midst of winter, the tundra envelops the polar night, which lasts several months (3-5 months).

The climatic summer in the tundra is very short. It lasts an average of 2-2.5 months. During this time, only the upper soil manages to thaw. Because of this, moisture cannot penetrate deeper than 10 cm., As a result, it accumulates on the surface. Low temperatures prevent the formation of fumes. This becomes the reason for the formation of swamps and lakes. The warmest summer month is August. At this time, the temperature reaches +7-10 ° C. In July, the thermometer column does not rise above 5 ° C.

For the spring-autumn period, only 2 months account. The snow cover begins to go in May. However, at the end of September, it will form again. It is for this month that the maximum amount of precipitation is 40-60 mm. In autumn, the temperature is +5 ° C 0 ° C.

Regardless of the time of year, winds always blow in the tundra. In the summer they “come” from the side of the Arctic Ocean, and in winter from the mainland. Their average speed is 5-10 m/s.

Relief and soil

The plain landscape prevails in the tundra. There are minor hills pingo. Most of the relief was formed by the fragments of sedimentary rocks, which left the retreating glaciers. The harsh climate holds the soil in a frozen state for most of the year, which affects the carbon cycle of the entire planet. Due to low temperatures, organic substances do not decompose, falling into the so-called “ice traps”.

There are practically no nutrients in tundra soils. In addition, they are quite waterlogged and sour. Several varieties of soils of this area can be distinguished:

  • Sweet-brown;
  • GLEEVs;
  • polygonal peats;
  • sod;
  • Swamp-tundra-podzular.
  • It is interesting to note that the northern part contains only 4% humus. Such soil is the most infertile.

    Types and types of tundra

    Depending on the geographical location, the tundra is divided into 3 main types: Arctic, Alpine and Antarctic. The first is considered the largest. It covers the significant territory of the northern regions of Eurasia and North America. Antarctic is mainly covered with ice. It is located at the South Pole, including the islands of South George and Kergelin. Alpine is located around the world, high in the mountains.

    The tundra of the northern hemisphere is divided into several types:

  • Arctic;
  • subarctic;
  • Lesotundra.
  • Each of them has certain features, therefore, deserves a separate consideration.


    It is located in the Arctic, on the northern edge of the European and Asian part of Eurasia. This area is characterized by severe frosts and powerful storms. The depth of permafrost reaches 90 cm. In the summer, the mark on the thermometer does not rise above 6 ° C.

    Most of the area of ​​the Arctic tundra occupy lakes and swamps. Because of the too cold climate from the flora, you can see moss and lichen. During the thaw, some types of herbs and flowers germinate. There are no shrubs here.

    Average subarctic

    This is a more southern type of tundra located to the foresttundra zone. The main difference between this area is that in the summer the cold Arctic air is replaced by a warmer. In summer, the temperature rises to 10 ° C. Thanks to this, the plants manage to germinate. It is interesting to note that vegetation is pressed to the ground. This is due to the heat released by the soil. Thus, plants are hidden from strong wind and freezing.

    The soil in the subarctic tundra is not fertile, since it contains a minimum amount of nutrients. As a result of this, it is not possible to engage in agriculture and grow rural cultures here.


    It occupies the border strip between the forest zone and the tundra. In comparison with previous species, the climate here is softer. However, the duration of summer is approximately 30 days. During this period, the temperature does not drop below +12 ° C. In some areas, the thermometer column rises to +15 ° C.

    Flora here is more diverse. The territory of foresttundra covers flowers, herbs, shrubs, trees. The latter are growing both sparse groves and one by one. A large number of plants attract northern deer.

    For 12 months, an average of 400 mm of precipitation falls in the foresttundra. This is much more than evaporated moisture, as a result of which the soil of this area is waterlogged and swampy.

    Tundra vegetation

    There are over 400 species of plants in the tundra. However, only a small part of them grows all year round. Such plants have a characteristic form and properties that reflect their adaptability to severe continental climate. Basically, such conditions are able to withstand plants with small roots.

    The plant world plays an important role in this natural zone. He is responsible for the preservation of other forms of life of Biom Tundra. That is, when the plant fades and decomposes, organisms use them as a nutrient substance.

    Most often in the tundra you can find stunted shrubs and marsh grassy crops. Many of them bloom beautifully and have a number of healing properties. In addition, in this area there are several particularly interesting representatives of the flora, which should definitely be found out.

    Diamond sheet

    Its peculiarity lies in the large content of beneficial trace elements and vitamins. Locals eat this plant for food. The diamond sheet refers to the willow family. In its appearance, it resembles a stunted shrub, creeping on the ground. The plant survives in a harsh climate due to its root system covered with hairs.


    This is a monotypic genus of flowering plants of the heather family. A distinctive feature is the beautiful inflorescences of a saturated lilac shade. They have a pronounced aroma. Heather grows well in partial shade, next to small shrubs. It is interesting to note that it is recognized by the national flower of Norway.

    The beast is ordinary

    This berry has one more interesting name “Bear Ears”. However, it is not at all clubfoot at all, but birds and owls. An evergreen shrub belongs to the heather family. Its height reaches 50 cm. Flowering begins in May-June. Closer to August, white flowers form in red berries. They have a sweet taste.

    It is worth noting that this plant is actively used in medicine. Beneficial substances are contained in the leaves and shoots of an ordinary. Of these, diuretic and antiinflammatory drugs, as well as antimicrobial. Back in the XII century, the northern peoples of Europe used this plant as a binder for diarrhea and hemoptysis.

    Kuropathic grass

    Belongs to the pink family. It is a small plant with large white colors and dense leaves, which in the winter season become green. Locals call it “Dryad”. The plant received this name in honor of the ancient Greek forest goddess nymph. The indigenous peoples of the tundra include partridge grass in the winter diet of partridges and geese.

    Arctic moss

    This is the most common representative of the flora of tundra. It grows both on the surface of the earth and in water. He is characterized by the absence of a root system. Its functions are performed by risoids. Arctic moss is covered with small leaves.

    This plant is the main nutrient element of many mammals and animals. It is rich in vitamins and grows all year round. Without dying, Arctic moss turns into a source of nutrients for other organisms.


    Is a perennial herbaceous plant of the Lyutka family. The people call it “sleep-grass” and “snowdrop”. In height, the background reaches 40 cm. Each of its stem is decorated with a flower with 5-7 petals. The flowering of the plant lasts from April to May. The shade of inflorescence varies from lavender to white. Laughter is a national flower of southern Dakota.


    Evergreen semicustody of the heather family. Has narrow leaves with a raised edge. The height of the luggling is 20-115 cm. The stalk itself is covered with long villi. Plant flowers are white, fixed on thin pedicels. In diameter, they grow up to 1 cm., but at the same time are located quite densely.

    Bagoon is especially appreciated in medicine and cosmetology, since it contains a large amount of essential oil. However, scientists have revealed that this plant contains toxic substances, which is why it should not be used in folk medicine. In addition, the smell of essential oils scares animals, so they do not eat it.


    A small but very valuable shrub of the heather family. Differs in healing properties and excellent taste qualities. Plant fruits are similar to blueberries. They have a blue hue. Berries grow between small oval foliage plants.

    Blueberries contain a storehouse of vitamins of group C, B and E. It also contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium.

    Animal tundra

    Only a small part of the fauna is adapted to the harsh climatic conditions of the tundra. However, both animals and birds and mammals live here. With the onset of summer, the number of birds and insects increases significantly. The rivers and lakes of this natural zone are rich in a variety of fish: ash, nelma, omul.

    Despite the meager fauna, the animal world in a given area is quite interesting and unusual. Below are the most beautiful animals tundra.

    Polar fox

    It is also called a fang. Polar foxes live in holes that are built on the slope of the hill or on the river bank. The diet of a fox includes small mammals. It is worth noting that he is an opportunist, so he can eat dead carcasses of animals. Polar foxes also eat plant foods.

    Arctic foxes live mainly in the Arctic and alpine tundra. Their body covers the thick and thick layer of fur, thanks to which the polar foxes steadily tolerate severe climatic conditions.


    Pariped mammal of the deer family. A distinctive feature of this kind is that the surface of the upper lip of the animal is entirely covered with hair.  Thanks to thick wool and large branched horns, the northern deer are adapted for life in cold, protracted winter. They feed mainly by lagel, grass, mushrooms, and berries. The northern deer live in herds and roam the tundra.

    Interesting fact: this type of deer has good hearing and smell. However, their vision is very poorly developed. If the northern deer is in a pack, then it focuses on the behavior of his leader.


    This is a sea predator that adapts well to various living conditions. He prefers cold waters, so he lives in the ocean. Rimus eat not only small marine inhabitants (fish, squid, octopuses), but also sea lions, dolphins, seals. If food ends at the habitat of the predator, then it floats in another area rich in food. Thanks to this nutrition, the killer whale is building up a layer of fat, facilitating survival in cold waters off the coast of the tundra.

    As a rule, males are more than females. The body length of male individuals is an average of 8 m., and female 7 cm. The weight of the male reaches 7200 kg. The female weighs much less.

    polar Wolf

    This is a lightcolored subspecies of a wolf. Its characteristic feature is white wool. Polar wolves live in a pack. In search of prey, they can overcome long distances. Capable of speed up to 64 km.h. In the tundra, they most often hunt for sheeps and hares.


    This is a small animal that, despite its defenseless, appearance is a predator. Belongs to the Kunah family. Its weight varies in the range of 100-450 g. The ermine has a thin and elongated body, short paws and a long tail. His fur is thick and bright.

    Ermine is characterized by sharp hearing, vision and smell, which helps him in hunting. He is pretty dexterous, and also climbs trees well and swims in water.

    People tundra

    Due to adverse climatic conditions, the population of the tundra is a few. The population density is relatively small: less than one person per 1 sq. km. Now Mansi, Eskimos, Sami, Nenets, Yakuts, etc. live here.D.

    The indigenous population of the tundra Nganasans and Dolgans. The former are the northern northern people of Eurasia. Scientists call it the most ancient. According to historical materials, the Nganasans were the first people who settled in this area. That is, they have been living in the tundra for more than 10,000 years. Dolgans are a younger people who settled in this natural zone after the Nganasanov.


    Since the tundra is far from civilization, the main activities of local residents are:

  • reindeer husbandry;
  • fishing;
  • furry hunting.
  • The people of the tundra are organized in choosing a lesson, which is due to adverse climatic conditions.

    Interesting facts about the tundra

    It would seem that it can be unusual in the area where the eternal cold reigns, and the life of the flora and fauna is rather scarce. However, in reality, the tundra is rightfully recognized by one of the most beautiful natural zones of the whole world. It has many rather interesting facts:

    1. Very little precipitation falls in the tundra-200-400 mm. Such indicators are comparable to the amount of precipitation in the southern part of the Sahara.
    2. The word “tundra” was introduced by the famous historiographer and the largest Russian writer of the era of sentimentalism Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin.
    3. Today the tundra is the subject of studying people from various fields of activity. Particular attention was paid to her after the detection of minerals in the Far North. It is proved that it is in the tundra that the largest oil and gas fields are located.
    4. Despite the protracted winters that last 9 months, they are still inferior to Siberia in their frosts. But the summer period in the tundra is much colder, which is explained by the proximity of huge arrays of cold ocean waters.
    5. The wind in this area may appear absolutely unexpectedly. Due to the lack of natural obstacles, it is quite strong and powerful. In winter, in combination with snowfall, they become especially dangerous.
    6. Although winter lasts 9 months, there is very little snow in the tundra. This phenomenon is explained by the fact that it simply blows into the lowlands, ravines and to the protruding elements of the landscape.
    7. The Khieva known to all Russians is also growing in the tundra. However, here her appearance is slightly changed.
    8. The area is often called the North steppe, but its landscape is far from homogeneous. In this natural zone there are rocks, hills and base spaces.
    9. You can see one of the most beautiful atmospheric phenomena over the northern tundra polar radiance.
    10. In the tundra you can find animals that more than a hundred years ago disappeared from Siberia Ovcebyki. It is worth noting that in Canada they are taken under guard. In Eurasia in the twentieth century, the restoration of their population was launched.
    11. Rivers and lakes are rich in fish. Since the population of the tundra is quite small, there are few fishermen here. The reservoirs of this area are replete with elite fish varieties: trout, chir, salmon.

    Tundra is not only a beautiful, but also an interesting land, with its own characteristics and historical events.

    Environmental problems

    Due to extreme living conditions in the natural zone, many do not realize that this is a very fragile ecosystem. Any pollution (exhaust gases of trucks, spilled petroleum products, etc.D.) are able to destroy it, causing serious harm to the environment.

    The main environmental threats include:

  • exhaustion of the ozone layer;
  • melting permafrost as a result of global warming (can radically change the landscape, having an adverse effect on biodiversity);
  • Air pollution contributes to the formation of smog, which pollutes lichens, and they, in turn, are food for many animals.
  • Tundra is one of the most beautiful natural zones, is behind the polar circle. This is the “edge of the Earth”, where there is its own, no less interesting life.

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