How Do Plants & Animals Survive in the Arctic Tundra?

How Do Plants & Animals Survive in the Arctic Tundra
••• AndreAnita/iStock/GettyImages

The Arctic tundra ecosystem, found in the far north polar area of the world, is characterized by cold temperatures, frozen soil called permafrost and harsh conditions for life.


The seasons in the Arctic tundra include a long, cold winter and a short, cool summer. In the winter, few plants and animals can survive, so many plants remain dormant through winter and many Arctic tundra animals hibernate or migrate at that time.

Plant Adaptations

No trees grow in the Arctic tundra. The small plants of the tundra use the tactics of dormancy, only producing seeds every few years, turning with the sun to absorb energy and developing protective coverings.

Animal Adaptations

Animals living in the Arctic tundra have developed adaptations including heavy winter coats, camouflage that changes color with the seasons, efficient body shape to prevent heat loss and the ability to build insulated tunnels underground.

Web of Interactions

The plants and animals of the Arctic tundra interact over large areas to create a food web that helps all of its members survive the harsh conditions.

Future Problems

Climate change may present a future problem for life in the Arctic tundra. Because they are so specialized to life in tundra conditions, many animals and plants may not survive if these conditions change.

Related Articles

Love Nature? Bring The Outdoors Inside with These Science...
How to Calculate Volume of a Circular Cylinder
Alaskan Tundra Facts
How to Calculate a Circular Area
What Color of Light Do Plants Absorb?
How to Determine Square Feet Area
Plants & Animals in Deciduous Forests
The Effects of Cutting Down Trees on the Ecosystem
Characteristics of Aquatic Plants
Biotic & Abiotic Factors in the Tundra
What Are the Causes of the Destruction of Ecosystem?
Why Is Photosynthesis Important to Humans?
About Minor & Major Landforms
What Are the Functions of Photosynthesis?
Why Are Ecosystems So Important?
Desert Biome Environmental Problems
Negative Effects of Clear-Cutting
How to Calculate Diameter to Square Feet
Definition of a Land Ecosystem
Which Biome Has the Least Biodiversity?