The term biome means the main groups of plants and animals living in areas of certain climate patterns. It includes the way in which animals, vegetation and soil interact together. The plants and animals of that area have adapted to that environment. What plants can grow in an area is determined by the temperatures, the amount of rainfall and season in which it falls, how long the seasons are, how high above sea level the area is. Animals need food and shelter. They may eat plants, or eat animals that eat plants. The climate also helps determine which animals live in a particular place.

Some ecologists have identified about 11 different biomes in the world. However, generally speaking, 7 are agreed upon. The reason for the disagreement is that there is a zone between biomes where one blends into the other, and some ecologists think these zones are also separate biomes.

However, the seven generally accepted biomes are:
water (freshwater or ocean)
rainforest (tropical or temperate)
taiga (coniferous forests)
deciduous forests

Biomes are different according to the continent on which they occur. For example, grasslands have different names such as prairie (Nth America), pampa (Sth America), veldt or savanna (Africa), steppe (Asia). The exact plants may vary according to the continent, but they are the same kind of plant for that biome.

The animals that live in each biome are also different according to which country it is, but they will have similarities because of the habitat, food and climate.

Find out about the biomes:
water .. rainforest .. tundra .. desert .. taiga .. deciduous forests ..

If you use any part of this in your work, acknowledge it in your bibliography like this:
Biomes (2002). [Online], Available:

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updated July 2002