The great complexity that the ecosystems of every corner of the planet present leads to a classification of their characteristics and forms of life that must take into account various factors, including whether it is terrestrial areas, or on the contrary, fresh or marine waters. . In this context and in order to facilitate the understanding of nature, many ecologists have proposed throughout history different systems for classifying ecosystems into life zones or biomes. All the fauna and flora of the planet coexist in them, as well as microorganisms that have adapted their development and way of life to the climatic and geographical characteristics of each terrestrial or marine biome.
If you want to learn more about the characteristics of the environment in which animals and plants live, continue reading this AgroCorrn article in which we tell you what biomes are, their types and examples .
- What are biomes – simple definition
- Types of Biomes
- Examples of biomes
What are biomes – simple definition
Biomes are each and every one of the sets of ecosystems that exist in a certain biographical area of the planet. Coming from the Greek “bios” (life), biomes encompass the various species of living beings (animals, plants and microorganisms) that predominate in an area delimited by very specific climatic characteristics. In this way, biomes present the climate factor and the biodiversity factor as their main components.
One of the main functions that biomes perform is to illustrate and present information about the biodiversity that characterizes each region of the planet, determining, in addition, how biodiversity is greater in those biomes located close to the equator, while at the poles, the biodiversity of these biomes decreases.
On some occasions, biomes are called biotic areas or bioclimatic landscapes , however, there are other terms such as habitat and ecozone that should not be confused with, although this is a common mistake.
To better consolidate the term biome, let’s see in the next sections the different types of biomes that exist in nature, as well as some examples of the most characteristic and surprising biomes.
Types of Biomes
Depending on the type of vegetation and other factors such as the level of precipitation and humidity, the temperature gradients according to altitude and latitude, as well as the type of community structure and the way of growth of its species, allow differentiating the types of biomes of the world .
Therefore, it is a rather complex classification, which throughout the history of ecology, has been studied with the aim of establishing the most optimal and illustrative method to differentiate the biomes of the planet. Among these classification methods, the system developed by Heinrich Walter stands out, based on the seasonality of temperature and rainfall, and other climatic features such as wet and cold conditions; in addition to the types of vegetation that define each of these 9 large resulting biomes :
- Equatorial (tropical and evergreen rain forests)
- Tropical (seasonal forests with scrub or even savannahs)
- Subtropical (desert vegetation)
- Mediterranean (shrubs and forests adapted to droughts and sensitive to frost)
- Warm temperate (temperate frost sensitive and evergreen forest)
- Nemoral (temperate frost-resistant and deciduous forest)
- Continental (temperate deserts and grasslands)
- Borealis (frost-resistant needle-leaved evergreen forests)
- Polar (short vegetation without trees, on permanently frozen soils)
Other classification systems, such as the one established by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), identify different types of main habitats in which the biomes are organized, firstly, into two large subgroups, depending on whether they are terrestrial biomes or marine biomes , and within them, the terrestrial ones in the subgroup of terrestrial and freshwater biomes, while for the marine biomes a difference between coastal and continental shelf biomes and the subgroup of open and deep sea biomes.
Examples of biomes
Each and every one of these types of biomes includes different examples that receive one or another name according to their climatic characteristics and geographical area in which they are found. Let’s look at some of these examples of terrestrial and marine biomes :
Examples of terrestrial biomes
- Temperate coniferous forest
- Deserts and xerophilous scrub
- Temperate steppes and scrublands
- Prairies and flooded savannas
- Subtropical savannas
- Tropical forests
In this other AgroCorrn article you can discover much more about the Types of terrestrial biomes .
- Oceanic islands
- Tropical corals
- Temperate offshore platforms
If you want to read more articles similar to What are biomes: types and examples , we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category .
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