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Sep 13, am Sep 13, am. The soil in the Arctic is largely permafrost or soil that remains frozen year-round, leaving only a thin surface layer of thawed soil in summer for plant roots to grow in. Tundra soil is also scarce in many of the nutrients that plants need to grow.
Instead, the tundra has patchy, low-to-ground vegetation consisting of small shrubs, grasses, mosses, sedges, and lichens, all of which are better adapted to withstand tundra conditions. Animals in the tundra are also adapted to extreme conditions, and they take advantage of the temporary explosion of plant and insect life in the short growing season. Tundra wildlife includes small mammals—such as Norway lemmings Lemmus lemmus , arctic hares Lepis arcticus , and arctic ground squirrels Spermophilus parryii —and large mammals, such as caribou Rangifer tarandus.
These animals build up stores of fat to sustain and insulate them through the winter. They also have thick coats of fur for further insulation. Some save energy by hibernating during the long winter months. Others migrate to warmer climes during winter.
Many birds also migrate into the tundra during the growing season to feed, mate, and nest. Atop the food chain are tundra carnivores, such as arctic foxes Vulpes lagopus , arctic wolves Canis lupus , snowy owls Bubo scandiaca , and polar bears Ursus maritimus , which move into the tundra during the summer when prey is plentiful and their usual hunting grounds on sea ice diminish.
I've made 13 wavs so far. I've made 22 clips already. They'll be up when I've finished the movie. I've made 27 sounds so far. I'll get them up when I'm done. I just finished making them. They are at the third trophic level. In a desert ecosystem, a secondary consumer may be a snake that eats a mouse.
In the kelp forest , sea otters are secondary consumers that hunt sea urchins. Tertiary consumers eat the secondary consumers. They are at the fourth trophic level. In the desert ecosystem, an owl or eagle may prey on a snake. They may be at the fourth or fifth trophic level. They have no natural enemies except humans. Lions are apex predators in the grassland ecosystem. In the ocean, fish like the great white shark are apex predators. In the desert, bobcats and mountain lions are top predators.
Detritivores and Decomposers Detritivores and decomposers make up the last part of food chains. Decomposers, like fungi and bacteria, complete the food chain. They complete the cycle of life, returning nutrients to the soil or oceans for use by autotrophs. This starts a whole new series of food chains. Food Chains Food webs connect many different food chains, and many different trophic levels.
Food webs can support food chains that are long and complicated, or very short. For example, grass in a forest clearing produces its own food through photosynthesis. A rabbit eats the grass. A fox eats the rabbit. When the fox dies, decomposers such as worms and mushrooms break down its body, returning it to the soil where it provides nutrients for plants like grass. This short food chain is one part of the forest's food web.
Another food chain in the same ecosystem might involve completely different organisms. A caterpillar may eat the leaves of a tree in the forest. A bird such as a sparrow may eat the caterpillar.
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