Biome map

Terrestrail Biomes button ICE CAPS biome Arctic tundra Alpine tundra Taiga (Boreal Forest) biome Deciduous Forest Bioime Rainforest biome Temperate Grasslands Biome Tropical Savanna Chaparral Desert Scrub Desert Stream and River Ecosystems Lake and Pond Ecosystems wetland ecosystems Estuaries (Ecosystem) Intertidal Ecosystems Coastal Ecosystems Coral Reefs Oceanic Pelagic Abyssal Zone





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In ecology, a biome is a major regional group of distinctive plant and animal communities best adapted to the region's physical natural environment, latitude, altitude and terrain. A biome is made up of communities at stable steady state and all associated transitional, disturbed, or degraded, vegetation, fauna and soils, but can often be identified by the climax vegetation type.

A fundamental classification of biomes is into:
Terrestrial (or continental) biomes and
Aquatic biomes.

Biomes are often given local names. For example, a Temperate grassland or shrubland biome is known commonly as steppe in central Asia, savanna or veld in southern Africa, prairie in North America, pampa in South America and outback in Australia.

1 Latitude classification
1.1 Arctic or subarctic area
1.2 Subarctic and boreal area
1.3 Temperate cold
1.4 Temperate warm or sub-tropical
1.5 Tropical
1.6 Aquatic
2 Altitude and latitude classification

Latitude classification

Latitude is a major climate-influencing factor determining biomes. There is a good correlation between the distribution of climates with latitude, and homogeneous vegetation bands. Another major factor is humidity. This can be illustrated by the fact that biodiversity increases away from the poles towards the equator, and increases with humidity. The most widely used classification of biomes is related to latitude (or temperature zoning) and humidity

Arctic or subarctic area
humid type : Tundra

Subarctic and boreal area
humid type: taiga or boreal forest

Temperate cold
humid type : Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, Temperate coniferous forests

Temperate warm or sub-tropical
humid: subtropical moist broadleaf forest
semi-humid: Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests

humid area: tropical moist broadleaf forest (tropical rainforest)
semi-humid area: tropical dry broadleaf forest, tropical coniferous forest
Semi-arid area: tropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
Arid area: deserts and xeric shrublands

continental shelf
coral reef
kelp forest
pack ice
hydrothermal vents
cold seeps
benthic zone
pelagic zone

Altitude and latitude classification

Another system of classification takes into account altitude and humidity, ignoring temperature as a factor. This classification is used to define the Global 200 list of ecoregions identified by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as priorities for conservation.

This classification gives the following terrestrial biomes :

The Endolithic biome, consisting entirely of microscopic life in rock pores and cracks, kilometers beneath the surface, has only recently been discovered and does not fit well into most classification schemes.

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