Biomes are defined as large regions on the surface of earth with similar climatic and geographical conditions where animals and plants adapt to their environment. Biomes are defined by the abiotic factors of the regions such as climate, geology, relief, soil, vegetation. In a biome, many animals and plants show similar adaptations that enable them to survive in that area. The climatic conditions and the geography of the region determines the type of biome that is present that region.
Biomes are fundamentally classified as terrestrial biomes and aquatic biomes. The type of biome depends upon the nature of soil, rainfall, temperature, intensity of sunlight and its duration, topography and also the geographical barriers.
Ecologists have identified about 14 different types of biomes in the world. There are 7 major biomes which are widely accepted.
The seven major biomes are:
- Aquatic or water Biome (freshwater or ocean)
- Rainforest Biome (tropical or temperate)
- Tundra Biome
- Desert Biome
- Taiga Biome
- Deciduous forests
Biomes are different in each continent which they occur. Like grasslands have different names in different continents like Prairie in North America, Pampa in South America, Savannas in Africa, and Steppe in Asia.
Aquatic biome is also known as water biome. Aquatic biome is of tow types basically - fresh water biome and marine biome. Marine biome is the largest of all the biomes, water covers about 3/4ths of the surface of the earth. The marine biome has the largest number of fishes and animals. This biome provides the world with a large amount of food. The climate doesn't affect this marine biome much. It is warmer near the equator and colder towards the poles. The marine climate affects the inland climate a lot especially the coastal areas.
The tundra region is found in the high northern latitudes of the world. It is also referred to as arctic tundra. The arctic tundra is a cold, large area which is treeless and is a low swampy area found in the north around the arctic ocean. The vegetation of the tundra is short perennials, and water frozen. The plants found in the tundra include sedges, lichens, mosses, grasses, etc. The animals found in tundra include snowy owls, reindeer, polar bears, musk ox, etc.
The taiga biome is dominated by the conifers, like the spruces and firs. The biome has lakes, bogs and marshes. It is also referred to as the Boreal forests. The forests here are with dense evergreen needle-leafed trees. The plants found in this region include spruce, and pine. Animals of this region are black bears, wolves, moose and migrant birds. The winters of the taiga are cold and deep snow. The warmer months of the taiga have a temperature about 10Â°C.
The desert biome is very hot and dry. Many plants and animals cannot survive in this extreme hot climate. The temperatures at night reduces to very cold temperatures. Vegetation is the desert regions is sparse drought resistant, typically the plants are spiny with tiny leaves and the bark is photosynthetic. Typical plants in the desert biome are cacti, acacia, etc. The animals seen in the desert region are reptiles and ground dwelling rodents.
Rain forests are found in Asia, South America, Africa, and Central America and on many islands of the Pacific. These rain forests are found along the equatorial regions. The rain forests are a tropical wet climate group. The rain forests are hot and humid. Almost half of the rain forest of the world is found in South America. The tropical rain forests receive a rainfall about 60 to 600 inches; the rainfall is distributed throughout the year.
The typical plants in the forests include figs and ferns. Animals found in rain forest are snakes and birds.
Deciduous forest is found on the eastern half of the United States and a larger part of Europe. The trees of the deciduous forests are hardwood trees like beech, oak, maple, etc. These trees shed their leaves in the autumn. The animals of the deciduous forests includes raccoons, deer, and salamanders.
Grasslands have vegetations which are treeless and are less than 1 m high. The plants of the grasslands include grasses and the members of sunflower family. Woody plants dominate the steppe grasslands. The animals of these grasslands include ungulates like horses, rhinoceros and buffalo.