What Are Factors of a Biome?

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Savannas have sparse plant life and dry temperatures, and are susceptible to droughts.
Savannas have sparse plant life and dry temperatures, and are susceptible to droughts. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A biome is a geographical region separated by factors that include plant and animal life. Climate plays a major role in the types of animals and plants found in each region. Terrestrial biomes in the world are broken down into 10 major groups – desert, temperate grassland, temperate woodland, temperate forests, northwestern coniferous forests, boreal forests, tundras, tropical rain forest, dry rain forest and tropical savanna. Aquatic regions are also broken into separate biomes.

Low-Latitude Climates

Low-latitude climates consist of climates located near the equator and controlled by tropical air masses. These biomes include rain forests, savannas and desert biomes. Tropical rain forests have heavy rainfall all year long, measuring about 100 inches per year, according to Blue Planet Biomes. Tropical rain forests feature dense woods with evergreen trees, ferns and climbing vine plants. Animal life consists of primates, tropical birds, jaguars, large reptiles and incests. Savannas get seasonal rainfall and have warm, dry temperatures. Susceptible to droughts, plant life is sparse. Animal life includes large predatory cats, elephants, giraffes, baboons, ostriches and termites.

Mid-Latitude Climates

Mid-latitude climates include tropical air masses traveling toward the poles and polar air masses moving toward the equator, according to Blue Planet Biomes. These biomes consist of grasslands, woodlands and northwestern coniferous forests. These regions have distinct seasonal changes and humidity. Teachers' Domain says temperate grasslands, such as plains and prairies, have year-round grass with wildlife such as wolves, grizzly bears, prairie dogs, bison, snakes and birds such as hawks, owls and prairie chickens. Northwestern coniferous forests have Douglas fir, redwood and spruce trees. Bears, elk, deer, beavers, bobcats, owls and weasels call coniferous forests home.

High-Latitude Climates

High-latitude climates are located in the northern hemisphere, extending from arctic and subarctic latitude zones to the 47th parallel, according to the Boston University Department of Geography. Boreal forests and tundras are in this climate zone. The University of California Museum of Paleontology says boreal forests, or taiga, are the largest land-based biomes. The area has short summers and long winters, with a growing season that last 130 days. The area has pine, firs and spruce trees. Boreal forests house woodpeckers, hawks, moose, bears, chipmunks and bats. Arctic and alpine tundras have short growing seasons, 50 to 60 and 180 days respectively. Tundras have short shrubs, with wildlife such as mountain goats, sheep and wolves. Arctic tundras have migratory birds and cold-water fish like salmon.

Aquatic Biomes

Freshwater biomes consist of natural water sources that have a low salt concentration, according to the Encyclopedia of Earth. They include ponds, lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. Seasonal temperatures determine how hot or cold the water is. Wetlands have the most aquatic plant and animal life of freshwater biomes, according to the Encyclopedia of Earth. The ecosystem include shellfish, amphibians, reptiles, cypress trees, lilies and gum trees. The University of California Museum of Paleontology says marine biomes include oceans, coral reefs and estuaries, and cover three-fourths of the earth. Estuaries include waterways that have freshwater that flows into saltwater. Oceans, Earth's largest ecosystem, contain diverse life, from microscopic bacteria to large aquatic mammals.

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