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What are the biomes used to produce food, industrial materials, and fibers? Explain the impact of the climate, soil, and vegetation of a biome on its productivity.

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A "biome" is a community that is classified by the vegetation that is predominant in that area and is characterized by the kinds of adaptations to that specific environment that different organisms make. Thus the entire Earth can be divided into different biomes. Different classification schemes may identify the number and kind differently. One common scheme identifies five biome types: aquatic, desert, forest, grasslands, tundra.

It is important to remember that these are types, not specific areas or geopolitical units, and each type can have varying characteristics. For example, the Great Plains of the United States and the llanos or pampas of Argentina are both classified as "grasslands." Similarly, the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and the Sahara Desert are both "desert" but have somewhat different vegetation. In addition, a small area may contain different biomes. Think of Washington state, for example, where the "aquatic" biome of the Pacific, "forest" biome of the Olympic Peninsula, and "desert" biome east of the mountains are quite close together.

Regarding the specific products that each biome will yield, these will vary considerably both among biomes in general and according to a specific place. In deserts, for instance, cacti and succulents are common, but different species are typical of different world regions.

A characteristic of every biome is that soil and climate will affect vegetation. In turn, the native plants and reception of introduced species all affect production of foods. In the Amazon forest, to name one case, hundreds of different plants can be native to a small region, but when cleared, the lands are often used today to monocrop soybeans.

Many different things can be classified as "industrial materials." Often these are made from metals; the ores must be mined and then subjected to a large amount of processing. Making steel from iron is one example.

In sum, the broad question you are asking relates to the ways that industrial society operates in different parts of the world. Narrowing your topic down to a specific biome, world area, and time period is a crucial next step.

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