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Winter Ecology: Ice Essay

It is a known fact that ice is a frozen phase of water being an important element of global climate. It also plays a significant role in sustaining a water cycle in nature. Due to the fact that water has a tangible impact on living organisms both at ecological and cellular levels, there are a great variety of animals and plants that adjust to these specific conditions. Particularly, the main aspects of terrestrial organisms’ survival under low temperature involve hardness, density, and depth.

For aquatic animals and plants, ice acts serves as a cover for aquatic ecosystem reducing the amount of energy, nutrients, and oxygen in the world of low temperatures. Therefore, inhabitants of northern regions have a rich vocabulary revealing all the peculiarities of ice that has an enormous ecological importance. In response, different forms of ice crystals adapt to various environments and objects.

Snow and ice undergo various processes in the course of time after formation. In general, there are different densities and hardness of snow with regard to the time of formation. At earlier stages, snow is fluffy and light; it is low in density and hardness. However, it becomes denser and harder as ice crystals combine to turn into a solid mass. Depending on the origins of metamorphism, there are different forms of ice crystal in relation to density, temperature, and hardness.

Flora and fauna of both terrestrial and aquatic spaces has also adjusted to specific qualities of ice. Due to the fact that temperatures may very in a snowpack, many terrestrial organisms benefit from insulating quality of ice by bedding by burrowing. However, the depth of snow can be also a drawback for various animals.

Similarly, temperatures and density also influence ice crystal formation and transitions. For example, the hardness of snowpack reflects the measure of strength and ability to sustain weight. Another valuable quality of ice is absorbing and retaining more amounts of oxygen in comparison with warm water. Such property is especially significant for aquatic organisms that can survive under such conditions. In particular, aquatic insects and fish use their gills to get oxygen from almost frozen water.

Aquatic organisms rely on other abilities and factors created by low temperatures. Within aquatic environment, ice acts like a protection sheet for animals and plants from lower temperatures.

At the same time, this setting is distinguished by extremely stable temperature degrees due to the limits of energy and oxygen. Such climate conditions are especially suitable for ectothermic animals whose body temperature is sustained on the account of the external heat. As a result, these organisms largely depend on temperature fluctuations that should not vary much.

Ice helps to retain the temperature appropriate for low metabolism rates and small consumption of oxygen. There are also organisms that compensate for heat loss that water absorbs through heat shunting mechanisms for minimizing heat loss from feet and bare tails. In general, organisms living under such conditions cannot bear thin layers of snow and high temperatures constituting a major threat to their existence.

While observing severe laws of nature, it is hard to imagine how animals can survive the cold of winter. Entering this amazing ice world, it is hard to conceive the secrets of wildlife survival under such severe conditions.

Apart from these specific conditions, there are many other aspects that contribute to increased role of ice in sustaining life as well as preserving evidence of life. Remarkably, animals have invented sophisticated organisms and processes for siphoning oxygen from water. For example, frogs and turtles retard their heart beat in order to minimize the oxygen consumption.

While studying specific conditions under which animals and plants survive, it is possible to define what role ice plays in constructing specific ecosystems. Furthermore, ice has not only formed the landscape of north regions; it has also turned into a means of survival for living organisms.

Understanding the significance of ice, snow, and snowpack allows use to delve deeper into the problems and schemes of improving the natural landscape of our region. In addition, the knowledge will also contribute greatly to comprehending the laws of nature as well as reasons why ice and low temperatures have become integral components of comfortable existence of certain species.

Using empirical evidence and original sources is much more beneficial for obtaining information about surrounding worlds. It permits not only to identify specific patterns in nature, but understand how different ecosystems interact and co-exist with each other. While explaining the role of ice and extremely low temperatures in enriching animals’ vocabulary of survival, it is also possible to understand the basic concepts of winter ecology in northern districts.

Inhabitants of these regions are able to reveal the main qualities and peculiarities of ice, which is of great ecological significance. A major focus is made on how organisms take advantage of such specific ice property as density, hardness, depth, and temperature, which are more relevant for terrestrial organisms, and oxygen absorption needed for aquatic animals.

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IvyPanda. (2018, September 6). Winter Ecology: Ice. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/winter-ecology-ice/

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"Winter Ecology: Ice." IvyPanda, 6 Sept. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/winter-ecology-ice/.

1. IvyPanda. "Winter Ecology: Ice." September 6, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/winter-ecology-ice/.


IvyPanda. "Winter Ecology: Ice." September 6, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/winter-ecology-ice/.


IvyPanda. 2018. "Winter Ecology: Ice." September 6, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/winter-ecology-ice/.


IvyPanda. (2018) 'Winter Ecology: Ice'. 6 September.

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