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8: Biomes

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    Chapter Hook

    At the North Pole there is nothing but ice and snow. The taiga (also known as the boreal forest) is the northernmost place that trees can grow. At first, trees are very sparse and stunted. Sometimes these trees can take upwards of 50 years to get bigger than a seedling. Eventually, the taiga turns into a sea of trees. There are as many trees here as in all rainforests combined, representing nearly a third of all trees on Earth. As such, the taiga is the largest carbon sink on land and contributes significantly to the contribution of oxygen in the atmosphere. The taiga is just one of Earths biomes, each is unique and extraordinary in their own ways.

    World map shading where the tiaga biome is locates (Northern parts of: Canada, Alaska, Europe, Iceland, and Russia)
    Figure \(\PageIndex{a}\) World map with shading indicating the location of the taiga biome. Image by Mark Baldwin-Smith (licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0)


    Rachel Schleiger (CC-BY-NC

    • 8.1: Climate and Biomes
      A biome is a large, distinctive complex of plant communities created and maintained by climate.
    • 8.2: Terrestrial Biomes
      There are eight major terrestrial biomes: tropical rainforests, savannas, deserts, chaparral, temperate grasslands, temperate forests, taiga (boreal forests), and Arctic tundra. Each has characteristics vegetation with adaptations suited to the climate of the biome. The vegetation is one factor determining which animals are found in a biome.
    • 8.3: Aquatic Biomes
      Like terrestrial biomes, aquatic biomes are influenced by a series of abiotic factors. The aquatic medium—water— has different physical and chemical properties than air. Even if the water in a pond or other body of water is perfectly clear (there are no suspended particles), water still absorbs light. As one descends into a deep body of water, there will eventually be a depth which the sunlight cannot reach.
    • 8.4: Data Dive- Biome Carbon Storage
    • 8.5: Review

    This page titled 8: Biomes is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Melissa Ha and Rachel Schleiger (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative) .

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