Skip to main content
Biology LibreTexts

6.10: Terrestrial Biomes

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    f-d:8b1f539fc723c69ef7fd673713d970cd1031374bc6f457adfced4374 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1

    Forest vs. desert. What explains these differences?

    If you look at these two pictures, you will see very few similarities. The picture on the left shows a desert in Africa. The picture on the right shows a rainforest in Australia. The desert doesn’t have any visible plants, whereas the rainforest is densely packed with trees. Do they have different climates? Does one get more rain than the other?

    Survey of Terrestrial Biomes

    Terrestrial biomes are classified by the climate and their biodiversity, especially the types ofprimary producers. The world map in Figure below shows where 13 major terrestrial biomes are found.

    A map showing the locations of Earth's major terrestrial biomes

    Worldwide Distribution of Terrestrial Biomes. This map shows the locations of Earth’s major terrestrial biomes.

    The following figures summarize the basic features of major terrestrial biomes. As you read about each biome, think about how its biodiversity and types of plants and animals relate to its climate. For example, why do you think there are no amphibians or reptiles in tundra biomes? (Hint: Amphibians and reptiles cannot maintain a constant body temperature. Instead, they have about the same temperature as their surroundings.)

    f-d:52fbe91e1692327376afc2c7c7353eaae9070e88c6a94aed9f73d4fa IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1

    f-d:bd7e34a2b35a7fde3055e81b3b613c422d7a89ff6d73d5bb81dba985 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1

    f-d:6a9147c7ba65d75495895c9f4cb13905353c118f00c1d51642f19d84 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1

    f-d:fc5f0f7c19261314c49e95cf6a1477f00f6fbeaa9984b5dc10829369 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1

    f-d:eaafdca39858737b08569106a0f2734f4b3b01fb0cd61fac3bfc7aa9 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1

    f-d:2d62018e19732cd8a4a8089fa7bd2f1e65733df573f08eab855a4bc2 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1

    f-d:dc4a795c643c1c8487b7c60ab5d18c0548096924fe110ed7f192d989 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1

    f-d:4623db462b03ff5cc0bc895735381fa919a755d1d62eb2faaab62c64 IMAGE_TINY IMAGE_TINY.1


    • Terrestrial biomes include tundras, temperate forests and grasslands, chaparral, temperate and tropical deserts, and tropical forests and grasslands.


    1. Identify two types of tundra and where they are found.
    2. What terrestrial biome has the highest biodiversity? the lowest?
    3. In which biome are you most likely to find grasses, zebras, and lions?
    4. If you were to design a well-adapted desert animal, what adaptations would you give it to help it survive in its desert biome?

    This page titled 6.10: Terrestrial Biomes is shared under a CK-12 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by CK-12 Foundation via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

    CK-12 Foundation
    CK-12 Foundation is licensed under CK-12 Curriculum Materials License
    • Was this article helpful?