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Meaning and classification of Biomes


Biomes, as the name suggests, are formed by the ecosystem because they are a part of the environment and merging or combining of the ecosystem is helpful in the constitution of them.  In the environment the relationships between organisms are there, they are interrelated to each other. Food chains and food webs are inter-related to each other so they are a part of them.

Factors Affecting Biomes:

  1. Length of daylight and darkness
  2. Length of Growing season
  3. Soil Types
  4. Precipitation which includes variations and intensity

Characterization of Biomes: 

  1. Communities: Plants and animal communities are the part of the biomes. The plants and animals interact with each other in the community and survive in a shared environment.
  2. Adaptations: These are the changes associated with the environment for the survival of the organisms.
  3. Ecosystems: Ecosystems are related to various organisms and their interactions with the environment.  A biome is having various types of ecosystems.

Classification of Biomes:

  1. Climate variation with special emphasis on moisture: On the basis of variation of climate  we can differentiate biomes into different types
  2. Forest Biome
  3. Savannah Biome
  4. Desert Biome


Forest  Biome: Forest makes up of  30%  of the land cover on the earth. They are a source of carbon and responsible for climate control also.  There can be temperate, tropical and boreal forests.

Savannah  Biomes: A Savannah is a rolling grassland scattered with shrubs and isolated trees between a  tropical rain-forest and desert biome. Savannah is also known as tropical grasslands.  

Desert  Biome: Desert Biomes are present in particular areas and are having various features like storage of water,  utilization of resources. Desert animals and plants have various adaptations for their survival like cactus has spines for storage.

Tundra:  The tundra biome is found in the northern hemisphere and on the top of very high mountains. It is also found in the southern hemisphere in Antartica. 

Taiga: The biome is made up of coniferous forests and is largest of all land biomes. These forests contain evergreen trees that have needles, such as hemlock,  firs or spruces.

 Alpine Biomes:  These are located at the high altitudes on mountains just below the snowline. Hibernation is the period of the animal spending in the dormant state. Small limbs, ears, and tails to prevent heat loss. They have oxygen carrying capacity by the red blood cells.

Grassland Biomes:   Grassland areas are found on every continent except Antarctica. There is enough rainfall to support grasses and non–woody plants, but drought and fire prevent large forests from growing. Grasses can survive fire because they grow from the base of the plant and can regrow again.

Savannas:  Savannas are found in the part of the tropics where there is not enough rainfall throughout the year to create a rain-forest. Savannahs are characterized by the rainy and dry season. During the rainy season, rainfall is there followed by drought also. The trees have cork-like bark or an outer covering that can withstand some fire damage.

Adaptations to survive fires: Many large members of the savannah have long legs that enable them to outrun fires.  Smaller mammals burrow under the ground and stay there until the fire has passed over them.


Ecological impact of forest fires: 

Unwanted and uncontrollable fires are called wildfires.  Small and low-intensity fires serve an important purpose preventing huge destructive wildfires.  Due to lightning or human interference. Efforts to prevent fires have prevented the makeup of forestland.The debris deposit on the forest land creating fuel. The debris includes cones,   pine needles. Fires cleared the forest floor of dangerous debris. 

Chaparral: The Chaparral Ecosystem is a biological community of plants and animals that exist in five areas of the world with a meditterean climate.  These areas are located in continents between 30and  45North latitudes and include  California also.  Common plants are sugar-bush, coffee-berry.

Desert Biomes: The desert is that area which receives the least rainfall.  The cactus plant is present in desert areas. The waxy coating prevents water loss. Needle leaves are for water loss prevention. Plants known as xerophytes have evolved to suit several drought conditions and can be categorized into four main groups: drought evaders, drought escapers, drought resisters and water conservers. 


Estuaries: An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water formed where freshwater from rivers and streams flow into the ocean, mixing with the salty sea water.  

Oceans: Oceans are the largest and most diverse of the ecosystems, salt water evaporates and turns to rain which falls on the land regions. Algae generate most of the oxygen in our atmosphere and absorption of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Coral Reefs: Coral reefs are found around the globe in warm waters. They cannot withstand that drop much below an average temperature. They are diverse underwater ecosystems having calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals.