What Is A Biome?
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A biome is another term for an ecosystem. It is defined as a community of various plants and animals that inhabit a particular type of geographic region of Earth. Biomes are often defined by their climate, rainfall/water characteristics, elevation, and plant characteristics (leaf type, spacing, etc). Biomes can be divided into two major classifications, terrestrial (land-based) and aquatic (water-based). Some major terrestrial biomes include tundra, desert, rain forest, boreal coniferous forest, and temperate deciduous forest. Some major aquatic biomes include lentic freshwater, lotic freshwater, wetlands, open ocean, estuary, and continental shelf water.
Biomes or major communities are the extensive formations of vegetation. The main biomes are: (1) Tundra biome (2) Boreal coniferous forest biomes, (3) Temperate forest biomes, (4) Temperate grassland biomes, (5) Temperate and tropical desert biomes, (6) Tropical rain forest biomes, (7) Tropical deciduous forest biomes, (8) Tropical savanna biomes, (9) wetland biomes and (10) Marine biomes. The temperate grasslands are extensive in the North America and are called as prairies. They are tall grass prairie, mid grass prairie and short grass prairie depending upon the height of the herbage portion.
A biome is a large geographical area characterized by certain types of plants and animals. A biome is defined by the complex interactions of plants and animals with the climate, geology (rock formations), soil types, water resources, and latitude (position north or south on the globe) of an area.
One example of a biome is a desert. Deserts are the world's driest regions. Most of the vegetation there takes the form of drought-resistant plants such as cacti (plural form of cactus), which store water in their stems and have waxy coverings, and scrubby plants like the creosote bush, that have extensive root systems.
The animals that live in the desert are able to survive with little or no water. The camel, for instance, stores water and fat in its hump. And the kangaroo rat gets all the moisture it needs from solid food; it can go its entire life without drinking a drop of water.
Other examples of important biomes include tundra (bitterly cold regions with little plant growth), coniferous (evergreen) forests, deciduous (trees that usually lose their leaves in the fall) forests, grasslands, and tropical rain forests.
Sources: Engelbert, Phillis. The Complete Weather Resource, vol. 3, pp. 461-62; Lean, Geoffrey, et al. WWF Atlas of the Environment, p. 11; World Book Encyclopedia, vol. 2, pp. 322-24.
Biome is a biological term used in the field of ecology. It is generally defined to be an assemblage or association of plant and animal groups occupying a given geographical location (In Madison we live in the deciduous forest biome). All of the organisms in a biome, plus all of the associated environmental factors with which they interact, are an ecosystem.
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