What Are the Ten Most Major Land Biomes?

Biomes are found throughout the world.
Biomes are found throughout the world. (Image: Phil Ashley/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Certain areas of the world that have developed a unique climate categorized by interdependent species of plants and animals, these areas are known as biomes. The biomes of the world are categorized into 10 land biomes, which are tropical rainforest, tropical dry forest, tropical savanna, desert, temperate grassland, temperate woodland and shrubland, temperate forest, northwestern coniferous forest, boreal forest and tundra.


Biomes are spread throughout the world where a community of plants and animal species have grown to become interdependent in an area. An interdependent community of plants and animals is known as an ecological community, according to the Center for Educational Technologies.


There are three major land tropical biomes, including the tropical rainforest. Found mainly in South and Central America, South East Asia, Southern India, Africa and Australia, the tropical rainforest is characterized by the abundance of animal species, numbering more than all the other biomes combined, according to Teachers Domain. A dense covering of trees forms a covered canopy high above the ground, with an understory of smaller trees and vines beneath. Dark shadows cover the floor of the rainforest, aiding the decomposition of leaves and dead plants. The tropical dry forest sees the majority of its precipitation in a short rainy season, followed by a long dry season, during which the majority of trees shed their leaves to preserve water. The tropical savanna of Eastern Africa, Southern Brazil and Northern Australia receives more seasonal rainfall than the dry forest biome, and is marked by isolated trees and small groups of trees and shrubs.


The temperate grasslands biomes are found in areas of Central Asia, Australia, Central Europe and South America containing fertile soils formerly known as plains and prairies. Improvements in agricultural industries has turned the temperate grasslands into fertile agricultural fields in the majority of areas. A semi-arid climate dominates the temperate woodland and shrubland biome, which is dominated by large areas of shrubs and plants, with open woodlands. Temperate wood and shrubland biomes are found in North and South America, South Africa and Australia. Temperate forests cover areas of the Eastern United States, Europe, Japan and China, these forests contain deciduous and coniferous trees. Cold winters within the temperate forest stop the growing season for a long period each year.


The desert biome of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the United States, Mexico and South America carries extreme temperature changes within each day, from freezing conditions to extreme heat. Desert regions generally receive less than 10 inches of rain annually. In contrast to the desert biome the northwestern coniferous forest biome of the Northwestern United States and Canada receives a large amount of precipitation from the warm moist air of the Pacific Ocean. Large trees, such as the redwood, spruce and fir dominate the northwestern pacific coast. Bitterly cold winters and warm, mild summers are the common weather characteristics of the boreal forest biome. This biome, commonly found in the northern hemisphere is made up of dense areas of coniferous forests. Finally, the tundra is an area of the Earth with a permanently frozen subsoil, which receives long frozen winters and short, cool summers.

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