By: Kyli Beach
Biotic (living) factors in the arctic
- Polar Bears
- Harp Seals
- Snowshoe Hares
- Arctic Foxes
- Snowy Owls
- Sometimes you can spot a blubbery Walrus
- There is also a variety of fish and some types of Whales
*and arctic poppies
Abiotic (unliving) factors in the arctic
*since it is always snowy and icy the arctic has a HIGH precipitation
*there is always sunlight but only produces energy and not very much heat radiation
*the arctic winter temps can get all the way down to about -30 degrees and winters can be as high as 54 degrees
*arctic winters are long and cold while arctic summers are short and cool
*ever had the burning question: why doesn't the arctic ocean freeze all the way? well here is your answer: as water freezes salt is released increasing the percentage of salt in the water, and the higher the percentage of salt the lower the freezing temp of the water.
Carrying capacity and the arctic's population of wintry animals!
So what is carrying capacity anyway? Well its the largest number of a species that an environment can hold.
FLUFFY WHITE POLAR BEARS!
It can get beyond the negative degrees in the arctic and it can get hard for animals there.
Polar bears have to find food very fast for their cubs, if they don't then the cubs will die.
This is a graph showing the populations from year 1981 to year 1997.
Many things could of happened to the polar bears as they increased or decreased.
Such as huntings and no food or being able to reproduce because of space.
Why has the population gone up and down like a crazy rollercoaster?
Well, that's because of limiting factors and predators.
Limiting factors are any condition(s) that limits the expansion of a population in an ecosystem.
Examples of limiting factors:
The ice at the top of the ocean cracking apart is a huge limiting factor for animals looking for food. The ice breaks apart and the animals lose their food or lose each other.
Predators and prey
Seals are prey for polar bears looking for food for their little ones. But if the ice breaks apart the seals can have a quick get away, leaving the polar bear with no food and the seal, an extra spare of life.
The three main energy roles are:
The main producer in my ecosystem would be shrubs. Some consumers could be penguins and polar bears, and the decomposer would be fungi.
The sun gives off energy to the plants (producers) then the consumers will eat the plant getting 10% of the energy from the producer. Then the consumer eats the consumer and so on. The producer is one of the biggest roles in the energy flow it is the only autotroph, or the only one that can create its own food by using photosynthesis.
Food chains are more realistic than food webs because they show several paths to things being eaten instead of one!
If you removed one thing from the chain, it would affect everything. If we removed the arctic hare, than the snowy owl would have one less meal and could die off and the arctic fox would have one less meal and so on. Removing one thing could make some populations grow and others shrink.
Trophic Levels and energy pyramids.
So you are probably wondering why the energy pyramid is a pyramid instead of something else ( I at least hope you are wondering). The energy pyramid is a pyramid because as you get higher up it the energy becomes less.
The producers have the most energy because they get their energy from the sun and first start off with it. The consumers get 10% percent of the energy everytime they eat something so it just gets less.
The photosynthesis chemical equation seems complicated, but its not! This is it:
what is needed for photosynthesis?
It needs 3 things for photosynthesis to happen: Water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide.
The product of photosynthesis?
More about photosynthesis:
Photosynthesis happens inside one of the plants organelles called chloroplasts which has a green pigment called chlorophyll
Tropism in the arctic
Tropisms are when plants bend or turn away or towards light, heat or gravity
Here is an arctic poppy "following" the light
Since there is some light in the arctic, the few plants there do survive, and the animals can thrive there in the arctic.
Decomposers (in the arctic?!?!?)
Yes its true, there are decomposers in the arctic! Bacteria and fungi help break down the dead organisms so the few plants that are in the arctic can live! If, lets say, there are NO decomposers in the arctic there would be a lot of dead stuff and it would probably smell pretty gross.
So lets thank the bacteria in the arctic!
Adaptations are genetics in an organism that helps them in their ecosystem to survive.
*polar bears have white fur to blend in the snow, which helps them get prey easier.
*Arctic poppies have a thicker and coarser stem to prevent them from freezing.
If you placed a polar bear in a desert the polar bear would, first of all, die of heat because the polar bear has thicker fur to not freeze, and would also stand out from the sand.
(the wonders of photoshop)
Natural selection is when organisms get better adapted to their ecosystem to produce more offspring.
Bears came to the arctic not knowing the land was almost completely white, but over time bears started being produced white instead of brown, the white bears survived better than the brown bears, overtime the brown bears started to die off and the white bears (polar bears) were the only ones left in the arctic.
This is the polar bear evolution. This drawing shows a bear turning to a polar bear.