Biome

A biome is a large portion of the biosphere, identified and classified according to the dominant vegetation type, if terrestrial, or the prevalent fauna, if aquatic. Since all living things live by influencing each other, a biome is made up of populations and communities of living things, both multicellular and unicellular, interacting with each other in a given territory that extends over large areas of the Earth’s surface.

The presence of a particular biome in a geographical area is a function of the type of climate present in it. The climatic factors that mainly determine the presence of a biome or another are temperature and rainfall. Regarding the temperature, in particular, there is a linear gradient of variation of temperature as a function of latitude, equal to about 0.6 ° C for each degree of latitude of the northern hemisphere.

The approximation to the study of a terrestrial biome consists of observation of plant structure (trees, shrubs, and grasses), leaf types (broadleaf and needle), and plant spacing (forest, mixed forest, savanna), and analysis of climate. Terrestrial biomes are often identified through the concept of climax vegetation, i.e., with plant communities that have achieved a high degree of adaptation to their natural host environment.

Unlike ecozones, biomes are not defined by genetic, taxonomic, or historical similarities among the organisms living in them. In terms of landscape ecology, biomes correspond, with appropriate adjustments, to continental landscapes, i.e., those landscapes that characterize large areas on the various continents.

Biomes are distinguished into marine, freshwater, and terrestrial, and each biome includes several ecoregions.

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