4Major BiomesThe major biomes are divided into Terrestrial (ground) and Aquatic (water) biomes.The aquatic biome can be divided into both Marine (saltwater) and Freshwater biomes.The Terrestrial Biomes are:Tropical ForestTemperate (Deciduous) ForestTaiga (Boreal or Coniferous Forest)SavannahGrasslands (also called Prairie, Steppe, or Pampas)DesertTundra
5Further Classification Some biologists define more than seven terrestrial biomes, adding Chaparral, Mountain, Island, or Tropical Dry Forest.Biomes are often known in English by local names. For example, a temperate grassland or shrubland biome is known commonly as steppe in central Asia, prairie in North America, and pampas in South America. Tropical grasslands are known as savanna in Australia, whereas in Southern Africa it is known as veldt (from Afrikaans).
6Biomes and VegetationBiomes are described by their vegetation because plants are the most noticeable characteristic of a region.The plants also determine the other organisms that can live in an area.Plants (& animals) in a particular biome have adaptations that enable them to live there.
17Temperate Deciduous Forests Trees drop their broad, flat leaves each fallRange of temperatures can be extremeGrowing season only lasts four to six monthsWinter temperatures often fall below freezing. This means little water available for plants.
18Temperate Deciduous Forests Vegetation also changes with the seasons.Organic matter decomposes slowly in the winter.The soil contains more organic matter and nutrients than the soil in a tropical rain forest.
223) TaigaNorthern coniferous forest (trees with cones & needles like pine trees)Just below the Arctic CircleWinters are long (6 to 10 months)Average temperatures just below freezing.Plant growth is most abundant during the summer because of constant daylight and more precipitation.
27Plants of the TaigaConifer – tree with needle-like leaves and seeds that develop in conesThe shape of the leaves and waxy coating prevent them from losing too much water.Cone-like shape prevents snow from building up on branches and causing breakage.
28Plants of the TaigaNeedles contain substances to make the soil acidic when the needles fall to the ground.Most plants cannot grow in acidic soil.Soil forms slowly because of the climate and acidity of the soil.
345) Temperate Grasslands Large areas of the interior of continentsModerate rainfall but still too little for treesPrairies in North America, steppes in Asia, veldt in South Africa, pampas in South America
40Plants of Temperate Grasslands Most fertile soil in the worldFarmland
416) Deserts Widely scattered vegetation Very little rain In extreme cases, it never rains and there is no vegetationTemperature changes rapidly during a 24 hour period.Often located near mountains that block rain clouds.
477) Tundra Northern arctic regions Too cold and dry for trees Permafrost – deeper layers of soil are permanently frozen throughout the year.Thin topsoilWhen the topsoil thaws, the land becomes wet and spongy and is covered in bogs.