Biomes

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.

How many biomes are there?
Some ecologists have identified about 14 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 and split biomes further.

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

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.

The kidcyber biome pages:
water .. rainforest .. tundra .. desert .. taiga .. deciduous forests ..
grassland

Go here to find out more about biomes:

http://www.mbgnet.net/

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Laboratory/Biome/

http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/

If you use any part of this in your own work, acknowledge it in your bibliography like this:
Sydenham, S. & Thomas, R. Biomes [Online] www.kidcyber.com.au [2002]

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