Extreme Environments

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Extreme environments are imperative to environmental microbiologists. The reason as to why is simple. Extreme environments potentially protect rare microorganisms with activities and metabolic strategies (Maier, 2015). The tundra ecosystem is found in the arctic. Arctic tundra is moderately homogeneous in relation to biodiversity and vegetation structure. Tundra is part of the periglacial environment. This means it is affected by previous ice ages and permafrost (Harmsen & Grogan, 2013) Permafrost means that the ground in the arctic is permanently frozen. This means that nothing can penetrate it. In the summer the surface layer thaws in the arctic, this becomes known as the active layer.
Polar marine biology is influenced by the history of
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The Arctic Ocean has been cold for two million years. The Arctic is consequently far from uniform (Callaghan et al., 2013). The polar bear (Ursus Maritimus) has a stocky body, it lacks shoulder humps and it has a longer neck in comparison to other areas of the body. Polar bears have a remarkable ability to store vast amounts of fat during periods where prey is unavailable (Stirling, 2009). They feed mainly on marine mammals. Chiefly on ringed seal, with more insignificant dietary items including bearded seals, harp seals (Dietz et al., 2013). The polar bear is a large arctic carnivore. They rely on sea ice as a seasonal programme which enables them to then hunt their prey. Polar bears are year round opportunistic feeders. Polar bears (Ursus Maritimus) eat large quantities of seal blubber (Dietz et al., 2015). Polar bears experience extensive fasting during the winter. They appear to conserve protein regardless of prolonged fasting. However, the mechanisms that are used to fulfil this are yet to be investigated and understood. They are acknowledged to enter a facultative hypo metabolic state similar to hibernation, but not quite hibernating.…show more content…
It has woolly soles, diminutive ears, and a small muzzle. These are all vital adaptations that enables the, to survive the extreme environment. Arctic foxes have white coats that are a successful winter disguise. It allows the fox to unify into the tundra 's ever-present snow and ice. When the seasons change, the fox 's coat also changes. Therefore, the fox is adapting to the climate. It adopts a brown appearance that provides cover among the summer tundra 's rocks and plants (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/arctic-fox/). The arctic fox has a circumpolar allocation. The habitat is the Arctic tundra and pack ice. They can be divided into two different ecotypes. These are ‘‘inland” (mainly feeding on lemmings) and ‘‘coastal” (feeding on birds and marine mammals) foxes. For the fox to cope with high variations in food availability they assemble large fat reserves when food is plentiful. They will then be able to use this reserve when food is limited (Sonne et al., 2011). Arctic foxes feed on seal pups in early spring. In late spring to early summer the choices of food items are almost in excess due to the large number of seabirds. During the winter the arctic fox relies on carcasses of Svalbard reindeer and seals. Food is so limited they may follow polar bears on sea ice and feed on the carcass of the

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