Two organisms in the tundra that illustrate mutualism relationship

Symbiotic Relationships – Alaska Arctic Tundra

The tundra biome is the coldest in the world and is barely livable for most life forms. Mutualism is a relation where both the organisms benefit from each other. Mutualism occurs when both organisms benefit in some way from the 2) Define a symbiotic relationship in the Tundra while providing an. Relationships Between Organisms in the Arctic Tundra. Mutualism: Mutualism is a mutual relationship where both of the organisms or species benefit. Example.

Such a symbiotic relationship, wherein the two species that are involved are entirely dependent on each other to an extent that they cannot survive without each other, is called obligate mutualism. This is in stark contrast of facultative mutualism, wherein the two species involved do benefit from each other, but they don't have to depend on each other for survival.

Symbiotic Relationships

Yet another example of mutualism in the tundra biome will be the relationship between a reindeer caribou and the microorganisms in its gut. The reindeer provides food to the microorganisms in its gut and they, in turn, help the animal digest its food.

Commensalism As opposed to mutualism, wherein both organisms benefit, in commensalism only one organism reaps the dividends, while the other remains unaffected. The best example of commensalism in tundra will be the relationship between the reindeer and Arctic fox. Reindeer are usually seen feeding on lichen and grasses, as more often than not, this is the only food available to them.

As the ground is covered with snow, they have to dig it to find food. Whilst digging, they invariably end up stirring the soil, thus exposing some of the subnivean mammals and insects with whom the Arctic fox shares a predator-prey relationship. Once the reindeer is done hunting, the Arctic fox takes over, digs further deep, and gets its food in the form of these species.

So, the Arctic fox gets its food with some help from the reindeer, while the reindeer remains unaffected, i. A similar relationship is seen between the reindeer and ptarmigan, wherein the latter is the beneficiary.

Symbiotic Relationships of the Tundra by Christaia Houser on Prezi

Yet another example will be the relationship between tundra birds and shrubs, wherein the birds take shelter in shrubs, thus benefiting from them, while the shrubs remain unaffected. Parasitism Parasitism is a relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits at the cost of the other, even resulting in its death at times. This type of symbiotic relationship is seen in all the biomes of the world.

In tundra, parasites affects various mammalian species including reindeer, Arctic foxes, musk oxen, Arctic wolves, etc. Of the several parasites that affect these species, one of the most common is the tapeworm.

Life in the Tundra — Tundra: Life in the Polar Extremes — Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears

In animals suffering from liver tapeworm cysts, tapeworms develop inside the body of the host organism and start feeding on food that the organism eats, thus leading to malnutrition and possibly death of the host. Other examples of parasitism in tundra include tick and mite infestation in mammalian species. In such infestations, parasites stick to the skin of host organisms and suck their blood. Additionally, blood sucking is also a prominent trait of mosquitoes, and there is no dearth of them in tundra; courtesy, flat land with ample scope for development of small pools where mosquitoes can breed.

Of late, steady warming is also helping mosquitoes breed in this region. You don't have to restrict yourself to tundra to study symbiosis. It extends south to the edge of the taiga a biome characterized by coniferous forests. The division between the forested taiga and the treeless tundra is known as the timberline or tree line. Location of arctic tundra across the Northern Hemisphere.

The tundra is known for cold conditions, with an average winter temperature of degrees F degrees Cand an average summer temperature ranging from 37 degrees to 54 degrees F 3 degrees to 12 degrees C. The growing season lasts from 50 to 60 days. The biome is also characterized by desertlike conditions, with an average of six to ten inches 15 to 25 cm of yearly precipitation, including snow melt.

Winds often reach speeds of 30 to 60 miles 48 to 97 km an hour. Another hallmark of the tundra is permafrost, a layer of permanently frozen subsoil and partially decayed organic matter. Only the top nine or ten inches of soil thaw, leading to the formation of bogs and ponds each spring.

Animal partnerships - David Attenborough - BBC wildlife

Ice wedges in the permafrost can crack and cause the formation of polygonal ground. This picture also illustrates the formation of ponds as the snow melts each spring. Photo courtesy of U. Fish and Wildlife Service. Warming Arctic temperatures due to climate change are causing the permafrost to thaw, releasing the carbon in the form of carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas. Additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will intensify warming, leading to increased thawing and the release of even more carbon dioxide.

This positive feedback loop thus has the potential to significantly increase the rate and effects of climate change. Approximately 1, species of vascular plants are found across the Arctic tundra, including flowering plants, low shrubs, sedges, grasses, and liverworts. Lichens, mosses, and algae are also common. In general, tundra plants are low growing, have shallow root systems, and are capable of carrying out photosynthesis at low temperatures and with low light intensities.

Animals found in the Arctic tundra include herbivorous mammals lemmings, voles, caribou, arctic hares, and squirrelscarnivorous mammals arctic foxes, wolves, and polar bearsfish cod, flatfish, salmon, and troutinsects mosquitoes, flies, moths, grasshoppers, and blackfliesand birds ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, sandpipers, terns, and gulls.

Reptiles and amphibians are absent because of the extremely cold temperatures. While many of the mammals have adaptations that enable them to survive the long cold winters and to breed and raise young quickly during the short summers, most birds and some mammals migrate south during the winter. Migration means that Arctic populations are in continual flux. A generalized food web for the Arctic tundra begins with the various plant species producers. Herbivores primary consumers such as pikas, musk oxen, caribou, lemmings, and arctic hares make up the next rung.

Symbiotic Relationships in the Tundra

Omnivores and carnivores secondary consumers such as arctic foxes, brown bears, arctic wolves, and snowy owls top the web. Bacteria and fungi play the important role of breaking down organic matter and returning nutrients to the soil for re-use.

Of course, the exact species involved in this web vary depending on the geographic location. A generalized tundra food web. Exact relationships and species depend on geographic location. The interconnected nature of a food web means that as numbers of one species increase or decreaseother populations change in response.

An often-discussed tundra example is the lemming population. Lemmings are small rodents that feed on plants. Populations of lemmings fluctuate radically from large populations to near extinction in regular intervals.