What Types of Biomes are there?

biome types

Basically they are communities of plants and animals characteristic of a climate. The important ingredient to survey a particular biome is the vegetation.

The biome is a developed expression of the ecosystems, it means that a biome can cover different ecosystems

The 8 main terrestrial biomes of the world are: tundra, taiga, temperate forest, Mediterranean scrub, grassland, savannah, jungle and desert. In the part below we show you its qualities.

Tundra

It is the terrestrial biome with the simplest vegetation that does not have much animal diversity. It is found only in the northern hemisphere, in the polar region of the Arctic.

The tundra has no trees and the ground is covered with mosses and lichens. The plants that exist are creeping vascular, dwarf shrubs and rushes.

Among the mammals we find the caribou or reindeer and the musk ox, the predators are the brown bear, the wolf and the arctic fox. Herbivorous mammals are the arctic hare and lemmings.

The climate of the tundra biome is related to polar climates; temperatures above 0 ºC last 6 to 10 weeks a year, while the ground remains under permafrost for much of the year. For example, this biome is located more Norway and Finland.

boreal forest or taiga

This forest is a northern hemisphere of needle-leaved trees, dominated by conifers. It encompasses sites of cold continental and subarctic climates of the Eurasian and North American continents.

The boreal forest consists mainly of spruce, pine and larch trees, which are distinguished by pointed leaves. The little sunlight that reaches the forest floor allows only a few herbs and shrubs, except at the edges of the forest. We find examples of the boreal forest in Alaska (USA), Quebec (Canada) and in Moscow (Russia).

Temperate broadleaf deciduous forest

It is the terrestrial biome of continental temperate climates, where there are too many trees with thin and broad leaves that fall in winter. At this time, the trees enter a period of inactivity that protects them from the wind and low temperatures.

The beginning of spring is found with bare trees, which allows solar radiation to reach the ground, favoring the growth of a layer of herbs and shrubs. The characteristic trees of the temperate forest are the oak and the maple. Fruit-bearing plants are common.

The fauna is quite rich, characterized by squirrels, deer, raccoons and black bears. Some animals hibernate during the winter, like bears, while others wake up occasionally to eat, like squirrels. Examples of temperate forests are found in Puerto Montt (Chile), in Iowa (USA) and in Luxembourg.

Mediterranean forests and scrubs

The Mediterranean forest and scrub biome occurs in hot dry climates in summer and humid and cold climates in winter, as occurs in the Mediterranean region. This biome is limited between 30 and 40 degrees latitude in the two hemispheres. They are also called chaparral.

It is distinguished by a vegetation rich in bushes, with reduced leaves and a waxy cover, such as rosemary, laurel, sage and thyme.

The animals associated with this biome are few, such as birds and reptiles. Examples of the Mediterranean biome are seen in Greece and in San Diego California.

temperate grasslands

This biome is related to semi-arid continental climates in mid-latitudes. Perennial grasses and herbs are the predominant vegetation, since they are appropriate to seasonal temperatures and the amount of rainfall per year.

The grassland fauna does not have much diversity. In North America, bison, antelope, prairie dogs, and marmots are common. Among the carnivores are the coyote, the badger and the ferret.

Grasslands are called steppes in Russia and Ukraine, prairies in North America, and pampas in South America.

tropical savanna

The tropical savannah is generated in tropical climates with distinguishable dry and wet seasons. The total annual precipitation is between 760 and 1270 mm of rain, where five months of the year it receives less than 125 liters per square meter.

The vegetation is distinguished by a layer of grass, where there are scattered trees and bushes leaving open spaces.

The African savannah is home to a wide variety of hoofed animals, including antelope, gazelle, buffalo, zebra, rhinoceros, wild boar, and elephant. Generally, these animals live in groups together, in order to protect themselves from predators, such as hyenas, jackals and cats. Examples of tropical savanna are found in Nigeria, Kenya, and Brazil.

Rain forest

It is the most complex and diverse terrestrial biome on the planet. It is located in the equatorial zone between 10 degrees north and 10 degrees south, where the ideal climatic conditions for the growth of vegetation are presented. Throughout the year temperatures are warm and humidity is constant.

Vegetation occurs in three layers: the canopy of emergent trees, the upper canopy layer of trees, and the sub-roof layer. Broad-leaved evergreen trees are typical of this biome. Below the tree canopy, shrubs and small trees are stunted by little light reaching the forest floor.

Animal life is very diverse and rich, adapted to live in trees. As the vegetation persists throughout the year, the availability of food is certain. The characteristic animals have bright colors, such as butterflies, birds and frogs; They can also be very noisy, like monkeys and gorillas. Examples of tropical rainforest are found in Brazil, Colombia, and Papua New Guinea.

Desert

This biome is distinguished by a flora and fauna adapted to living in arid conditions. The rains add less than 250 liters per square meter throughout the year. There are cold deserts and hot deserts, depending on the geographical location and temperatures.

Shrubs and thickets are the predominant vegetation, with small leaves, often with thorns or spikes. The root system is shallow and widespread, to ensure that the little rain that does fall can be quickly absorbed. This type of vegetation is known as xerophytic. Other plants, known as succulents, store water inside, such as cacti.

The most common desert animals are reptiles, such as lizards and snakes, and birds that can fly to get water

Examples of cold desert we get in Turkestan (Kazahstan) and hot desert in Arizona and Namibia.

Rivers

These are aquatic biomes closely linked to the ground, where living beings are adapted to the constant movement of water. Rivers are found in all regions of the planet and are characterized by constant remodeling.

Trees such as willows and poplars thrive on the banks. Organisms such as algae and cyanobacteria live in water currents. Bacteria are the food of protozoa and small invertebrates, and these, in turn, the food of fish and larger invertebrates. Examples of rivers are found in the internet River, the Orinoco and the Usumacinta.

wetlands

They are basically freshwater biomes distinguished by soils that are saturated or flooded with water for much of the year. They can be formed by rain or by the high level of the underground layer of water.

Depending on the type of prevailing vegetation, three types of wetlands are distinguished: swamps, swamps and marshes.

In wetlands, living things have to adapt to low oxygen levels. For example, some plants have structures, such as pneumatophores, that direct oxygen to the roots.

Insects, such as mosquitoes and dragonflies, commonly live in wetlands. Amphibians are also characteristic of this biome, such as toads, frogs and salamanders, as well as some reptiles, such as crocodiles and turtles. Examples of wetlands are the Centla swamps in Mexico and the Ciénaga Grande in Colombia.

Continental platform

It is a saltwater biome formed by the extension of continental land that is permanently submerged. It is understood from the lowest part of the tide until when the depth in the sea reaches 200 meters. This area is very rich and productive, so it has a very important economic interest.

Mollusks, sea cucumbers, urchins, crabs, manta rays and flat fish abound. Coral reefs, forests, and seagrass beds are found in this biome.

Deep ocean

It is the saltwater biome that has 65% of the earth’s surface and the least explored. It covers maritime parts deeper than 200 meters, and can reach more than 11 thousand meters at the bottom of the Mariana Strait, in the Pacific Ocean.

The bottom of the ocean is cold, dark and under high pressure, extreme conditions that few organisms can withstand. The best known predators of the open sea are sharks, manta rays, tuna and swordfish, which feed on small invertebrates and fish.

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