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Tundra is the coldest of all the biomes.

Tundra comes from the Finnish

word tunturia, meaning treeless plain. It is noted for its frost-molded
landscapes, extremely low temperatures, little precipitation, poor nutrients,
and short growing seasons. Dead organic material functions as a nutrient
pool. The two major nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen is
created by biological fixation, and phosphorus is created by precipitation.
Tundra is separated into two types: arctic tundra and alpine tundra.

Characteristics of Tundra

1. Extremely cold climate

2. Low biotic diversity

3. Simple vegetation structure

4. Limitation of drainage

5. Short season of growth and reproduction

6. Energy and nutrients in the form of dead organic material

7. Large population oscillations

Arctic tundra is located in the northern hemisphere, encircling the north pole
and extending south to the coniferous forests of the taiga. The arctic is known
for its cold, desert-like conditions. The growing season ranges from 50 to 60
days. The average winter temperature is -34 C (-30 F), but the average
summer temperature is 3-12 C (37-54 F) which enables this biome to
sustain life. Rainfall may vary in different regions of the arctic. Yearly
precipitation, including melting snow, is 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 inches). Soil is
formed slowly. A layer of permanently frozen subsoil called permafrost exists,
consisting mostly of gravel and finer material. When water saturates the upper
surface, bogs and ponds may form, providing moisture for plants. There are
no deep root systems in the vegetation of the arctic tundra, however, there are
still a wide variety of plants that are able to resist the cold climate. There are
about 1,700 kinds of plants in the arctic and subarctic, and these include:

low shrubs, sedges, reindeer mosses, liverworts, and grasses

400 varieties of flowers

crustose and foliose lichen

All of the plants are adapted to sweeping winds and disturbances of the soil.
Plants are short and group together to resist the cold temperatures and are
protected by the snow during the winter. They can carry out photosynthesis at
low temperatures and low light intensities. The growing seasons are short and
most plants reproduce by budding and division rather than sexually by
flowering. The fauna in the arctic is also diverse:

Herbivorous mammals: lemmings, voles, caribou, arctic hares and


Carnivorous mammals: arctic foxes, wolves, and polar bears

Migratory birds: ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, ravens,

sandpipers, terns, snow birds, and various species of gulls

Insects: mosquitoes, flies, moths, grasshoppers, blackflies and arctic

bumble bees

Fish: cod, flatfish, salmon, and trout

Animals are adapted to handle long, cold winters and to breed and raise
young quickly in the summer. Animals such as mammals and birds also have
additional insulation from fat. Many animals hibernate during the winter
because food is not abundant. Another alternative is to migrate south in the
winter, like birds do. Reptiles and amphibians are few or absent because of
the extremely cold temperatures. Because of constant immigration and
emigration, the population continually oscillates.

Alpine tundra is located on mountains throughout the world at high altitude
where trees cannot grow. The growing season is approximately 180 days. The
nighttime temperature is usually below freezing. Unlike the arctic tundra, the
soil in the alpine is well drained. The plants are very similar to those of the
arctic ones and include:

tussock grasses, dwarf trees, small-leafed shrubs, and heaths

Animals living in the alpine tundra are also well adapted:

Mammals: pikas, marmots, mountain goats, sheep, elk

Birds: grouselike birds

Insects: springtails, beetles, grasshoppers, butterflies

Tundra on the Pninsule Rallier du Baty, Kerguelen Islands.
Tundra in Greenland
Alpine tundra at Venezuelan Andes


Forest is a broad term used to describe areas where there are a large number of trees.
Depending on the type of trees in that area forests can be further divided into five main
categories. These are: coniferous forest, deciduous forest, mixed leaved forest, Mediterranean
forest, and tropical rainforests
Forests makeup about 30% of the total land cover on earth and are of incredible value
to life on
earth. They are a store of carbon and play a very important role in climate control.
They have a
watershed role and are a source of many raw materials that humans depend on. It is
believed that
forests have the most biodiversity. A small portion of the Rainforests, for example, may
be home
to millions of insects, birds, animals and plants. There are three main biomes that make
up Forest
Biomes. These are the Tropical Rainforest, Temperate and Boreal Forests (also
called the Taiga)

Temperatures of forests biomes (especially the tropical rainforest) are generally high all
year though,
but a lot cooler at the surface. This is because there is very little sunlight reaching the
forest floors
as a result of the heavy vegetative cover.

Humidity is extremely high with lots of rainfall, exceeding 200cm all year though.

Soils are loose and very airy, with high acidity and decaying organic matter.

Plant types of the Tropical Rainforests are usually huge trees with buttress roots, lots of
large green
leaves and shallow roots. Ferns and palms are also common. Plants in the Temperate
forests are less
dense with a bit of sunlight reaching the floors. Tree types include the willow, basswood
and elm. Plants
of the Boreal are mostly conifers with needle-like leaves. There is very little understory
and lots of light
at the floors. Trees like fir and spruce are common.

Small mammals, birds, insects and bats are common in the tropical
rainforests, as they either can fly up for sunlight or do not need
sunlight. However all the forest biomes have lots of skunks, deer,
squirrels, foxes, birds and reptiles.

An example of the Tropical Rainforest is the Amazon. Other

examples are the Scandinavian forest (boreal) and those in the
North East of America.


Tropical rainforest along the Monkey Trail in the

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park ,
Palawan, Philippines

Subic Forest

Luzon tropical fine forest

Pine Forest in the Cordilleras
Tropical Rainforests Most of the tropical rainforests are found in: Zambales Palawan
Mountain Province Mt. Makiling Mt. Makiling



Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae), however sedge
(Cyperaceae) and rush (Juncaceae) families can also be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all
continents except Antarctica. Grasslands are found in most ecoregions of the Earth. For example,
there are five terrestrial ecoregion classifications (subdivisions) of the temperate grasslands,
savannas, and shrublands biome (ecosystem), which is one of eight terrestrial ecozones of the
Earth's surface.

Grassland biomes are large, rolling terrains of grasses, flowers and herbs.
Latitude, soil and local climates for the most part determine what kinds of
plants grow in a particular grassland. A grassland is a region where the
average annual precipitation is great enough to support grasses, and in some
areas a few trees. The precipitation is so eratic that drought and fire prevent
large forests from growing. Grasses can survive fires because they grow from
the bottom instead of the top. Their stems can grow again after being burned
off. The soil of most grasslands is also too thin and dry for trees to survive.

When the settlers of the United States moved westward, they found that the
grasslands, or prairies as they called them, were more than just dry, flat areas.
The prairies contained more than 80 species of animals and 300 species of
birds, and hundreds of species of plants.

There are two different types of grasslands; tall-grass, which are humid and
very wet, and short-grass, which are dry, with hotter summers and colder
winters than the tall-grass prairie. The settlers found both on their journey
west. When they crossed the Mississippi River they came into some very tall
grass, some as high as 11 feet. Here it rained quite often and it was very humid.
As they traveled further west and approached the Rocky Mountains, the grass
became shorter. There was less rain in the summer and the winters got colder.
These were the short-grass prairies.
Grassland biomes can be found in the middle latitudes, in the interiors of
continents. They can have either moist continental climates or dry subtropical
climates. In Argentina, South America, the grasslands are known as pampas.
The climate there is humid and moist. Grasslands in the southern hemisphere
tend to get more precipitation than those in the northern hemisphere, and the
grass tends to be the tall-grass variety.

There is a large area of grassland that stretch from the Ukraine of Russia all
the way to Siberia. This is a very cold and dry climate because there is no
nearby ocean to get moisture from. Winds from the arctic aren't blocked by
any mountains either. These are known as the Russian and Asian steppes.

In the winter, grassland temperatures can be as low as -40 F, and in the

summer it can be as high 70 F. There are two real seasons: a growing season
and a dormant season. The growing season is when there is no frost and plants
can grow (which lasts from 100 to 175 days). During the dormant (not
growing) season nothing can grow because its too cold.

In tropical and subtropical grasslands the length of the growing season is

determined by how long the rainy season lasts. But in the temperate
grasslands the length of the growing season is determined by temperature.
Plants usually start growing when the daily temperature reached about 50 F.

In temperate grasslands the average rainfall per year ranges from 10-30
inches. In tropical and sub-tropical grasslands the average rainfall per year
ranges from 25-60 inches per year The amount of rainfall is very important in
determining which areas are grasslands because it's hard for trees to compete
with grasses in places where the uppers layers of soil are moist during part of
the year but where deeper layer of soil are always dry.

The most common types of plant life on the North American prairie are
Buffalo Grass, Sunflower, Crazy Weed, Asters, Blazing Stars, Coneflowers,
Goldenrods, Clover, and Wild Indigos.

area of forested limestone hills, grasslands and natural springs in the island province of Bohol in the
Central Visayas region of the Philippines.

Grassland in Magallanes Region, Patagonia, Chile

A grassland in the Philippines. (Upig, San Ildefonso, Bulacan)

An Inner Mongolian grassland in the People's Republic of China.

Grasslands Popular Grasslands in the Philippines: Mt. Pulag Grassland Cotabato City Bukidnon
Dole Plantation Farm, Bukidnon



The desert biome

Deserts cover about one fifth of the Earth's
surface and occur where rainfall is less than 50
cm/year. Although most deserts, such as the
Sahara of North Africa and the deserts of the
southwestern U.S., Mexico, and Australia, occur
at low latitudes, another kind of desert, cold
deserts, occur in the basin and range area of
Utah and Nevada and in parts of western Asia.
Most deserts have a considerable amount of
specialized vegetation, as well as specialized
vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Soils often Sand dunes in Death Valley National Monument, California.
have abundant nutrients because they need
only water to become very productive and have little or no organic matter. Disturbances are
common in the form of occasional fires or cold weather, and sudden, infrequent, but intense rains
that cause flooding.

There are relatively few large mammals in deserts because most are not capable of storing
sufficient water and withstanding the heat. Deserts often provide little shelter from the sun for
large animals. The dominant animals of warm deserts are nonmammalian vertebrates, such as
reptiles. Mammals are usually small, like the kangaroo mice of North American deserts.

Desert biomes can be classified according to several characteristics.

There are four major types of deserts:

Hot and dry



A Hot and Dry Desert is, as you can tell from the name, hot and dry.
Most Hot and Dry Deserts don't have very many plants. They do have
some low down plants though. The only animals they have that can
survive have the ability to burrow under ground. This is because they
would not be able to live in the hot sun and heat. They only come out in
the night when it is a little cooler.

A cold desert is a desert that has snow in the winter instead of just
dropping a few degrees in temperature like they would in a Hot and Dry
Desert. It never gets warm enough for plants to grow. Just maybe a few
grasses and mosses. The animals in Cold Deserts also have to burrow
but in this case to keep warm, not cool. That is why you might find some
of the same animals here as you would in the Hot and Dry Deserts.

Deserts cover about one fifth of the Earth's land surface. Most Hot and
Dry Deserts are near the Tropic of Cancer or the Tropic of Capricorn.
Cold Deserts are near the Arctic part of the world.

Hot and Dry Deserts temperature ranges from 20 to 25 C. The extreme

maximum temperature for Hot Desert ranges from 43.5 to 49 C. Cold
Deserts temperature in winter ranges from -2 to 4 C and in the summer
21 to 26 C a year

The precipitation in Hot and Dry Deserts and the precipitation in Cold
Deserts is different. Hot and Dry Deserts usually have very little rainfall
and/or concentrated rainfall in short periods between long rainless
periods. This averages out to under 15 cm a year. Cold Deserts usually
have lots of snow. They also have rain around spring. This averages out
to 15 - 26 cm a year.

Hot and Dry Deserts are warm throughout the fall and spring seasons
and very hot during the summer. the winters usually have very little if
any rainfall. Cold Deserts have quite a bit of snow during winter. The
summer and the beginning of the spring are barely warm enough for a
few lichens, grasses and mosses to grow.

Hot and Dry Deserts vegetation is very rare. Plants are almost all
ground-hugging shrubs and short woody trees. All of the leaves are
replete (packed with nutrients). Some examples of these kinds of plant
are Turpentine Bush, Prickly Pears, and Brittle Bush. For all of these
plants to survive they have to have adaptations. Some of the adaptations
in this case are the ability to store water for long periods of time and the
ability to stand the hot weather.

Cold Desert's plants are scattered. In areas with little shade,about 10

percent of the ground is covered with plants. In some areas of sagebrush
it reaches 85 percent. The height of scrub varies from 15 cm to 122 cm.
All plants are either deciduous and more or less contain spiny leaves.

Hot and Dry Deserts animals include small nocturnal (only active at
night) carnivores. There are also insects, arachnids, reptiles, and birds.
Some examples of these animals are Borrowers, Mourning Wheatears,
and Horned Vipers. Cold Deserts have animals like Antelope, Ground
Squirrels, Jack Rabbits, and Kangaroo Rats.


La Paz Sand Dunes Desert, Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Philippines


Subtropical Deserts of the World

Sub-tropical desert regions are responsible for a significant portion of land on this
planet. These regions are characterized by mostly warm to very hot temperatures with
cooler winters. These areas tend to be landlocked and receive extremely low amounts
of rainfall. The temperature usually fluctuates widely just during the course of a day,
moving from extremely hot to cold in a matter of hours. These deserts tend to have
very few plants and animals, and those that remain have adapted to the coarse, dry soil
and the ever-present wind. Return to Top
Sahara Desert
Of the deserts of the world, the Sahara Desert is the largest desert that falls into a sub-
tropical climate. The Sahara covers most of northeastern Africa which is about 10% of
the continent. It is nearly as large as the United States in terms of land area. It can take
upwards of a week to cross this desert by car and more than 40 days walking! Though
the Sahara is expansive, it is technically is the 3 rd largest desert after Antarctica and
the Arctic. The Sahara extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the
Mediterranean in the north to the Red Sea in the east. There are 10 countries in Africa
that have some part of their nation in the Sahara desert. The Sahara has some of the
largest sand dunes in the world. Some can reach nearly 600 feet (183 meters) tall.
Though movie productions may have convinced us otherwise, only one-fourth of the
Sahara terrain is actually comprised of sand dunes. The average temperature in the
Sahara is a comfortable 86F (29C), but can reach as high as 120F (49C) in hottest
months of the year. If that isnt hot enough for you, the record temperature was
reported at a steamy 136F (58C)! Return to Top
Arabian Desert

The Arabian Desert is named after its location as it makes up nearly all of the Arabian
Peninsula, which includes the countries of Qatar, Yemen, Oman, United Arab
Emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. In the center of the Arabian Desert, you will find
Earths largest area of unbroken sand called Rubal-Khali. The rest of the desert is
made up of gravel plains and rocky hills. It also includes natural occurrences of the
notorious and lethal quicksand. The Arabian Desert borders the Nile River Valley on
its west side and the Gulf of Suez on the eastern end, which makes it essentially
surrounded by water on all sides with the exception of the northeast corner that
connects it with the Asian continent. Return to Top
Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert is unique among the subtropical deserts. It happens to get
significantly more rainfall and support more diverse life than its counterparts. It
receives nearly double the rainfall (5-9 inches annually) of the Arabian and Sahara
desert, yet portions of the Kalahari still meet the definition of a desert in terms of
rainfall. It covers most of the African nations of Namibia, Botswana, and portions of
South Africa. The Kalahari is approximately 600 miles (966 km) wide and 1,000 miles
(1,609 km) north to south. Within the expanse of the Kalahari Desert, you will find the
Central Kalahari Game Reserve the second largest protected area for wildlife in the
world. Return to Top
Mojave Desert

The Mojave Desert can be found in the southwestern United States covering portions
of southern Nevada and southeastern California. The Mojave Desert contains the
infamous Death Valley, known for being the lowest point, driest location, and hottest
area on the North American continent. The weather there is characterized by extreme
heat and cold. It can drop below freezing and exceed 75F (23C) in a single day. The
record high for the Mojave is 134F (57C). The record cold temperature reached was
15F (-10C)! Return to Top
Sonoran Desert

The Sonoran Desert is located in the southwestern part of the United States reaching
into northwestern Mexico. It is the hottest desert in the North American continent with
air temperatures consistently rising above 118F (48C). The Sonoran Desert is a vast
expanse of over 100,000 square miles (259,000 square km) of area. It also happens to
host an extremely diverse lineup of wildlife. There are over 65 mammals, 340 birds,
100 reptiles, and 2,500 species of plants across the region. The Sonoran Desert is the
only place in the world you can find a naturally occurring Saguaro Cacti, which can
live for over 200 years! Return to Top
Chihuahuan Desert

The Chihuahuan Desert is the largest desert in the North American continent. It has a
land area of over 390,000 square miles (1,010,095 square km) across the southern
United States (30%) and Northern Mexico (70%). The Chihuahuan Desert reaches
into Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico in the US and Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila,
Zacatecas, and Nuevo Leon in Mexico, which accounts for approximately 1.5% of the
land area on the North American continent. It is considered a rain shadow desert,
which means that mountains that lay on the outskirts of the desert block much of the
precipitation from entering. This area is renowned for its high diversity of cacti with
over 300 species found in within its boundaries. Return to Top
Thar Desert

The Thar Desert is also known as the Great Indian Desert and lies in the northwestern
part of India predominantly in the Royal Rajasthan states. It is the 7 th largest sub-
tropical desert and the most sparsely populated region in India. Even so, the Thar
Desert is the most densely populated desert in the world. Because of the increase in
population in the area, the Thar Desert is home to a series of festivals every year
which are celebrated with music and dance. The desert is uniquely home to five salt
water lakes that mark the landscape. Return to Top

Australian Deserts

Australia is home to a wide range of desert areas due to its unique geographical
features and climate. Two-thirds of the Australian continent is considered arid or
desert, which makes the continent the driest on Earth after Antarctica. When you
consider all the deserts of the world, Australia does not have the largest desert areas,
but they do have the most desert areas of any continent when compared to the total
continental surface area. There are 10 different deserts on the continent of Australia.
Many are adjoining and some even overlap. They include the Great Victoria Desert,
Great Sandy Desert, Tanami Desert, Simpson Desert, Gibson Desert, Little Sandy
Desert, Strzelecki Desert, Sturt Stony Desert, Tirari Desert, and Pedirka Desert. Not
all are covered in the following information due to their resounding similarities to
each other.
Gibson Desert

The Gibson Desert can be found in the central part of Western Australia. It happens to
be one of the smaller deserts in Australia, coming it as the 5 th largest. It is highly
regarded for its untouched state as a result of it being largely uninhabited even to
this day. Most of the human population living in the Gibson Desert is part of the
aboriginal tribes of Australia. The Gibson Desert currently is home to five different
types of animals that are on the endangered species list. Return to Top
Great Sandy Desert

The Great Sandy Desert is the second largest desert of Australia. It is located in the
northern section of Western Australia, just south of the coastline. The Great Sandy
Desert is home to the Kata Tjuta Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers a world
heritage site. Ayers Rock is a huge sandstone formation that extends almost
unexplainably from the flat desert to a mountain-plateau that reaches 1,150 feet (350
m) into the sky. There are also some very unique plants in the Great Sandy Desert,
including the Desert Bloodwood a mid-size tree that has blood-like sap and leathery
leaves. But it has not always been great for wildlife in this desert. Invasive species
have long been a problem. Nearly 100 years ago, the Australian government built a
fence around the Great Sandy Desert to try to keep out invasive species such as
rabbits, fox, and cats. At the time, it was the longest fence in the world and portions of
the fence are still visible today. Return to Top
Great Victoria Desert

The Great Victoria Desert is the largest desert in Australia and the 3 rd largest sub-
tropical desert in the world after the Sahara and Arabian. It one of the least populated
areas in the southwestern part of Australia. The Great Victorian Desert is surrounded
by the Gibson Desert to the North, the Little Sandy Desert to the northwest, the
Simpson and Sturt Stony Desert to the east, and plains to the south. The Great
Victorian Desert does not resemble what many think of as a desert. It qualifies due to
a lack of rainfall, yet you will not find endless sand dunes or barren plains there.
There is a significant amount of vegetation and wildlife present in the Great Victorian
Desert which is what makes it such a visited location by tourists. Return to Top
Tanami Desert

Of the deserts in Australia, the Tanami Desert is the third largest. It is located in the
northern territory in the central part of Australia. It is found just east of the Great
Sandy Desert. There is a stretch of road that stretches over 600 mi. (1,000km) and
attracts four wheel drive enthusiasts from across the globe called the Tanami Track. It
is also heavily used by the mining industry as the Tanami Desert is rich in natural
resources. Like many of the other deserts across Australia, this desert is home to many
endangered plants and wildlife such as the Wallaby and Mulgara. Return to Top
Sturt Stony Desert

The Sturt Stony Desert is located in the northeastern part of South Australia. It is
surrounded by the Simpson Desert to its west, the Strzelecki Desert to the southeast,
and the Tirari Desert to the southwest. The Sturt Stony Desert is characterized by its
gibber desert. A gibber desert is one that is covered by a crowded surface of stones
with shiny tops. The tops of these stones are glazed slowly over time by the constant
movement of sand across the stone due to wind. Though gibber deserts are not unique
to Sturt Stony Desert, the Sturt Stony is by far the most prominent area in the world in
which the phenomenon occurs. Return to Top
Simpson Desert

The Simpson Desert is yet another sparsely populated area in central Australia in the
eastern half of the continent. It happens to be one of the driest deserts in Australia. It
receives just 5 inches (125 mm) of rain annually. Even so, the area benefits from its
geography when it comes to water. Flooding in adjoining areas funnels the water into
the Simpson Desert region giving it a significantly higher amount of water to support
its wildlife. It also happens to be one of the last places in Australia that certain
endangered animals call home. The fat-tailed marsupial mouse is extremely rare and
largely found in this area of Australia. The Simpson Desert also has a unique
geological feature: It possesses the longest parallel sand dunes found anywhere on
earth. Some can be up to 125 miles (201 km) long! Return to Top

Coastal Deserts of the World

Cool coastal deserts are found in more moderately cool to warm climates. These areas
tend to have mild, cool winters and prolonged, moderate summers. They can usually
be found near large bodies of water and/or mountainous regions. Cool coastal deserts
do not have the stereotypical cues of a desert, but they are some of the most harsh and
arid regions on Earth. Return to Top
Namib Desert

The Namib Desert is classified as a coastal desert and is located in the southern part of
Africa. It occupies 1,200 miles (2,000 km) of coastline in the countries of South
Africa, Namibia, and Angola. It is widely accepted that the Namib Desert has had a
similar arid climate for more than 50 million years, which would make it the oldest
desert on Earth. The Namib features gravel plains, mountains, and sand dunes. The
sand dunes can grow as high as 1,000 feet tall (302 m) and be more than 15 miles long
(30 km). This area is almost entirely unsettled by humans. The Namib Desert gets less
than 0.4 inches (10 mm) of rain a year, making it one of the most rain-starved areas in
the world! Return to Top
Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is located on the continent of South America and is largely inside
the country of Chile. It is a plateau stretching 600 miles (966 km) along the Pacific
Ocean. The Atacama Desert is the driest desert on Earth after Antarctica and the
Arctic. It receives just 0.04 inches (1 mm) of water per year! The Atacama is so arid
and desolate that NASA uses this area to test equipment to be used on missions to
Mars. Its unique geographical profile creates this arid environment from the rain
shadow effect. The Andes mountains block moisture on one side and the Chilean
Coast range of mountains block it on the other. The result is a virtual shadow where
no rainfall can be created, making it extremely difficult for any plants or animals to
flourish here. Return to Top

Freshwater biomes are large communities of plants and animals centered around waters with less
than 1% salt concentration. They are very important to survival on Earth. Types of freshwater biomes
include ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and even some wetlands. (Wetlands are not always considered
freshwater biomes because they usually have too high of a salt content.)

Lakes and ponds are considered still water since they do not move very
fast. Rivers and streams move water from one area to another and are known as moving waters.
Both still waters and moving waters offer a home to many different types of plants and animals. Many
of these organisms are structured to live in a specific type of freshwater habitat. For example, some
plants thrive in the nice calm waters of a lake but don't survive in rivers and streams, unless they
have a specific structure or can hold onto objects like rocks.
Freshwater biomes are found all around the world. They have many seasons. A single pond during
the summer season could be up to 39 degrees Fahrenheit on the bottom and 72 degrees Fahrenheit
on the top. This same pond could be 39 degrees Fahrenheit on the bottom and 32 degrees
Fahrenheit on top in the winter season. The climates usually average 39 degrees Fahrenheit to 70
degrees Fahrenheit.

Did you know that 75% of the world is actually covered in water? There is a lot of water on Earth.
However, 97% of water is actually salt water, and 2% of all the water is freshwater that is locked up in
the glaciers. This leaves only 1% of freshwater
found around the Earth.

The freshwater biome

Freshwater is defined as having a low salt
concentration usually less than 1%. Plants
and animals in freshwater regions are adjusted
to the low salt content and would not be able to
survive in areas of high salt concentration (i.e.,
ocean). There are different types of freshwater
A lake at Acadia National Park, Maine.

Ponds and lakes

Streams and rivers


Freshwater Biome Facts

The freshwater biome is made up of any of body of water that is made of
freshwater such as lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers. They cover roughly 20%
of the Earth and are in various locations spread out all over the world. Most
freshwater biomes consist of moving water and contain many types of fish.

Interesting Freshwater Biome Facts:
Only 3% of the water on Earth comes from freshwater biomes.

There are over 700 different species of fish that live in a freshwater biome.
99% of all freshwater is either in the form of ice or located in an aquifer.

Many animals besides fish live in freshwater biomes. This includes crocodiles,
hippopotamus, turtles, and frogs.

Freshwater biomes are subdivided into three groups: lakes and ponds,
streams and rivers, and wetlands.

There are four key features that determine the ecology of streams and rivers
- the flow of the water, amount of light, the temperature or climate, and the
chemistry of the river.

Smaller bodies of water such as ditches and puddles are also considered
freshwater biomes because they help some form of life to survive.

Freshwater biomes are very important to our survival because they supply
people with more than half of their drinking water.

The largest freshwater biome is the Florida Everglades.

The water in a freshwater biome contains less than 1% of salt water. Any
body of water that contains little to no salt is considered freshwater.

Freshwater biomes contain plenty of grass and plants but trees are very

There are many insects living in the freshwater biome that some might
consider being pests including mosquitos and flies. These insects are very
important in that they are a food source to many mammals, birds, and

Every freshwater biome is unique because they all contain a range of animal
and plant species, different climates, and various amounts of water. No two
freshwater biomes are exactly the same.

The Nile, the longest river in the world, is a part of a freshwater biome.

Because of the variety of animals living in the freshwater biome, there are a
lot of predator-prey relationships.

The freshwater biome is of significant importance in the world, yet so

many fail to realize its importance. These biomes consist of small
bodies of water, such as creeks, lakes, streams, and rivers. These
bodies of water contain fresh water and are free of salt. There are
major differences in the water that is fresh and that with salt.
Most plants and animals can not survive without freshwater biomes.


From left: a view across Manzanita Lake toward Mt. Lassen, California; a forest pond near Donnelly, Idaho; a Great Blue Heron;
Paranagat Lake, southeastern Nevada.

From left: McArthur-Burney Falls State Park, California; trout; Green River, Utah; Brooks River, Alaska.

From left: Pescadero Marsh, California; coastal marsh at Umpqua Dunes, Oregon; trees and bogs on Esther Island, Alaska.
1. Freshwater Biomes: RIVER Long body of water that flows toward another river, lake, or
ocean Ex. Pasig river, Marikina River, Cagayan River, Pampanga River Cagayan River
2. 13. Freshwater Biomes: LAKE Large body of water surrounded by land Ex. Taal Lake,
Laguna de Bay, Lake Caliraya, Naujan Lake, etc.) Taal Lake
3. 14. Freshwater Biomes: ESTUARIES Junction of water where water from rivers, streams,
and lakes meet the ocean Rich in fishes and shellfishes Ex. mangrove



The marine regions are divided between coral reefs, estuaries, and oceans. Oceans
represent the largest and most diverse of the ecosystems; salt water evaporates and turns
to rain which falls on the land regions, while most of the oxygen in our atmosphere is
generated by algae. Algae is also responsible for the absorption of large amounts of carbon
dioxide from our atmosphere.

The ocean connect to the land via what is called the inter-tidal zone. Because of rising and
falling tides, coastal areas are constantly changing, with various animals and marine plants
living at the bottom, and on the seashore. Rocky coastal areas are host to fewer species
due to the fact that only the highest of tides will reach the top of the cliffs.

In the warm shallow waters which line the continents and surrounding islands lie barriers
called coral reefs. Coral is a living organism consisting of animal and algae tissues. Corals
feed like plants through the process of photosynthesis, and like animals, they also use their
tentacles to catch micro-organisms. The coral reef is also host to other species such as
starfish, octopi, and other mollusks.

Out in the open ocean is what is called the pelagic zone, which is host to many species of
fish and marine mammals, plankton ,and some floating seaweed. the area underneath the
pelagic zone is called the benthic zone, or deep-sea, and is host to silt, sand, and slowly
decomposing organisms. This area is very cold due to its depth, which is untouched by the
light of the sun. There are few plants at this level, and the animals include mostly bottom
feeding organisms such as starfish, anemones, sponges, amongst others, as well as various

The deepest part of the ocean is called the abyssal zone. it is host to many species of
invertebrates and fish including such oddities as the coelacanth, a prehistoric fish once
thought extinct and found in the depths of the Indian Ocean, and other fish that glow in the
dark via a process called photoluminescence. The abyssal zone is very cold, and highly
pressurized. Its floor features vents formed by spreading tectonic plates which release
hydrogen sulfide and other minerals which are consumed by the bacteria which are then
consumed by other micro-organisms, which are in turn, consumed by the fish, and so on.

The marine biome

Marine regions cover about three-fourths of
the Earth's surface and include oceans,
coral reefs, and estuaries. Marine algae
supply much of the world's oxygen supply
and take in a huge amount of atmospheric
carbon dioxide. The evaporation of the
seawater provides rainwater for the land.
Reef fish and coral off Eniwetok atoll in the central Pacific.


Coral reefs



From left: mussels, worms, and a spider crab at a hydrocarbon seep community in the Gulf of Mexico; a sea fan and brain coral in
the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; a school of Atlantic amberjack off North Carolina.

From left: reef life in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea; a reef at Fanning Island atoll in the central Pacific; a reef in the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary.

From left: Mangrove roots, south Florida; wetlands and tidal streams in the Ashe Island area, ACE Basin National Estuarine
Research Reserve, South Carolina; a salt marsh in Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, South Carolina.

Urban Biome An urban biome is an area found in cities or towns constructed by
humans; it is also found in many diverse climates. These climates can range from
the arctic to the desert and everything in between. Many biotic factors in this
environment include rats, humans, birds, and other small creatures. This
environment also includes many abiotic factors as well such as water, soil,
temperature, and air quality. These factors both abiotic and biotic can vary
drastically, depending on the location of the urban biome. Abiotic factors The abiotic
factors of these environments vary drastically as humans are the ones who choose
the location of these biomes. The temperatures range from -40 degrees to 116
degrees Fahrenheit, but the average temperature for an urban biome is around 59
degrees Fahrenheit.

Urban Ecosystem
Urban ecosystems are the product of modernized, industrialized human society. These
function as the base of human settlements, as well as economic development. They are
a testament to the economic, academic, and technological progress that humankind has
achieved through generations. That said, they are still rapidly expanding, often to the
detriment of natural ecosystems.

Urban ecosystem, any ecological system located within a city or other

densely settled area or, in a broader sense, the greater ecological system that
makes up an entire metropolitan area. The largest urban ecosystems are
currently concentrated in Europe, India, Japan, eastern China, South America,
and the United States, primarily on coasts with harbours, along rivers, and at
intersections of transportation routes. Large urban areas have been features
of the industrialized countries of Europe and North America since the 19th
century. Today, however, the greatest urban growth occurs in Africa, South
and East Asia, and Latin America, and the majority of megacities (that is,
those with more than 10 million inhabitants) will be found there by 2030.


Urban-industrial techno-ecosystems
This anthropogenic biome consists of large metropolitan districts, dominated
by humans, human dwellings, businesses, factories, and other types of
infrastructure. This biome supports many species in addition to humans, but,
with few exceptions, these are non-native plants and animals that have been
introduced from other places, and that cannot live independently outside of
this biome, unless they are returned to their native biome.
Rural techno-ecosystems
This is another anthropogenic biome, occurring outside of intensively built-up
areas, and consisting of certain components of the extensive technological
infrastructure of civilization. This biome is comprised of transportation
corridors (such as highways, railways, transmission corridors, and aqueducts),
small towns, and industries involved in the extraction, processing, and
manufacturing of products from natural resources. Typically, this biome
supports mixtures of introduced species and those native species that are
tolerant of the disturbances and other stresses associated with human

This biome consists of ecosystems that are managed and harvested for human
use. The components of this biome are uneven in their anthropogenic
influence. The most intensively managed agroecosystems typically involve
monocultures of non-native crop species of plants or animals in agriculture,
aquaculture, or forestry, and are not favorable to native wildlife. The
management objective is to cultivate the economically valuable species under
conditions that ensure optimal growth. Less-intensively managed
agroecosystems involve mixtures of species, or polycultures, and these may
provide habitat for some native wildlife species.

Read more: Biome - Major Biomes And Their Characteristics, Freshwater

Biomes - Terrestrial biomes, Marine biomes, Human-dominated biomes -
Species, Forest, Water, and Ecosystems - JRank

Agricultural ecosystems are artificial ecosystems created in the process of developing
land and coastal/aquatic areas for farming, animal husbandry, and fishing.

Agroecosystems are biomes consisting of regions that are managed and harvested for
human use. Farms and ranches are examples of agroecosystems. Many
agroecosystems are monocultural, consisting of single types of crops, such as corn or
wheat, and are not favorable to native wildlife. The objective in such systems is to
manage the species in such a way as to produce a maximum dollar profit. Competing
species (weeds and insect pests) are destroyed or prevented from growing or surviving.
Less-intensively managed agroecosystems may contain mixtures of species, a form of
land management known as polyculture. Polyculture systems may provide habitat for
some native wildlife species.


Coffee plantation, Basilan Island, Philippines

Rice paddies in Balagtas, Bulacan.

Read more:

Endolithic biomes are various forms of microscopic life.

The endolithic (meaning "within rock") biome is a biome located below the surface of the Earth.
Other examples of biomes include savanna, desert, and jungle. The endolithic biome consists
entirely of microbes living in tiny pores and cracks of rocks, and extends down to at least 3 km
(9,600 feet) below the surface. The endolithic biome may be considered the most harsh biome on
Earth, due to a near-complete absence of sunlight, oxygen, and most nutrients. Endolithic microbes
have affectionately been referred to as "bugs from Hell."

The endolithic biome is the most recently discovered biome. Serious exploration only began in the
early 1990s. The most popular venue for study of these microbes are gold mines, some of which
extend as far as two miles below the surface. Microbes found are either bacteria or archaea. All
microbes in the endolithic biome are extremophiles, meaning they thrive in extreme conditions of
heat or absence of nutrients.

Microbes in the endolithic biome reproduce very slowly, due to the scarce nutrients. Much energy is
expended on repairing damage from cosmic rays, as well. Preliminary studies suggest that some
species may engage in cell division as rarely as once every 100 years. By contrast, certain surface
microbes replicate every 30 minutes.
Wisconsin Weathered Moss Rock and Driftwood Ecosystem Pond install in Lancaster, PA

Luzon, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan
Mountain Rock in Segada Cordillera, Philippines

Rugged Limeston in Coron Island in Palawan in the Philippines.

Palawan Underground, Philipines

An endolith is an organism (archaeum, bacterium, fungus, lichen, algae or amoeba) that lives
inside rock, coral, animal shells, or in the pores between mineral grains of a rock. Many
are extremophiles, living in places previously thought inhospitable to life. They are of particular
interest to astrobiologists, who theorize that endolithic environments on Mars and other planets
constitute potential refugia for extraterrestrial microbial communities

Endoliths have been found in rock down to a depth of 3 kilometres (1.9 mi), though it is unknown if
that is their limit (due to the cost involved in digging so deep). [4][5] The main threat to their survival
seems not to result from the pressure at such depth, but from the increased temperature. Judging
from hyperthermophile organisms, the temperature limit is at about 120 C (Strain 121 can
reproduce at 121 C), which limits the possible depth to 4-4.5 km below the continental crust, and 7
or 7.5 km below the ocean floor. Endolithic organisms have also been found in surface rocks in
regions of low humidity (hypolith) and low temperature (psychrophile), including the Dry
Valleys and permafrost of Antarctica,[6] the Alps,[7] and the Rocky Mountains.[8][9]