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ah! any leading space on the left margin converts to ugly-font (whatever the technical term is). What you want are multiple asterisk for different bullets. ---

The new entry on Ecoregions updates the science of this entry. Biome may not be a technical term in ecology any more - or may describe the large ecological zones roughly equivalent to the continents. Source check required.

- If it's WWF ecoregions you are talking about, they tesselate neatly into the superset of WWF biomes (not the same as realms). The map from WWF is just one biome map, but its being used quite widely for global ecological analysis, I suspect because it 'feels' right and because its' freely available. --Flit 22:03, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

CAN SOMEONE MAKE A MAP OF THE WORLD WITH COLOR CODED AREAS CORRESPONDING TO EACH OF THE Biomes? THIS WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL FOR ALL -karl selm, some maps of the WWF are for open use but the geographic format i can't open --Chris.urs-o (talk) 22:11, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

I think 'habitat' should be replaced with 'biotope' - see the Wikipedia entries for these terms (talk) 05:27, 15 January 2016 (UTC)


Hello, I'm a french user of wiki (:

If you are interested to import models and maps about the biomes tape a loop at fr:Biome

I won't permit myself to touch all of your articles Tvpm 16:31, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Hello, I'm a 13 year old girl and this was very complicaded and i can't write with this info. please try to make other stuff easier. ***** — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:32, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Replace climax with steady state[edit]

Because climax is an obsolete term, I propose replacing the following:

 In ecology, a biome is a major regional group of distinctive plant 
 and animal communities best adapted to the region's physical 
 natural environment, latitude, altitude and terrain factors.  A biome 
 is composed of the climax vegetation and all associated 
 subclimax, or degraded, vegetation, fauna and soils, but 
 which can often be identified by association with the climax vegetation type.


 In ecology, a biome is a major ... regional group of distinctive plant, 
 and animal communities best adapted to the region's physical 
 natural environment, latitude, altitude and terrain factors.  A biome 
 is composed of communities at stable steady state and all associated 
 transitional, disturbed, or degraded, vegetation, fauna and soils, but 
 can often be identified by the steady state vegetation type.

I am assuming here that biome remains a useful, technically valid, term. If not, it is best to revise the current wording differently than I have suggested. -- Paleorthid 13:35, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Map ?[edit]

What this article really needs is a map of the biomes. Can somebody provide one? Freederick 14:47, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Now a map has been provided, but we need to know its source :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:44, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Abiotic factors[edit]

added brief section and a link KonaScout 15:21, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I aggressively edited your entry, partly thinking it needed such to avoid copyvio. But I was too hasty: The copyright notification reads: All text is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. This is fully compatible with GFDL. I won't object to reverting any protion of my contribution if it seems to detract readibility. Thanks for pointing to a great resource for further contributions to Wikipedia! -- Paleorthid 16:25, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Biomes vs. Ecozones[edit]

This article needs to explain how biomes differ from ecozones. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by P199 (talkcontribs) 16:04, 15 December 2006 (UTC).

The ecozone page explains it -- biomes are about similar kinds of landscapes and habitats regardless of the specific plant and animal species, while ecozones distinguish between different species and evolutionary history (the study of biogeography). Pfly 23:19, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Order of Biomes[edit]

Now, I'm no oceanographer, but judging from the Riparian zone article, it appears to me that it more properly belongs in the Terrestrial biomes category, rather than Aquatic biomes. Can you explain why you listed it there?

Also, I think it would be useful to list the various biomes in some kind of order. Of course, it's possible that you did and I just don't know enough about it to recognize the order!

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts! Thanks for creating a LOVELY template! ~ Mpwrmnt 08:09, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Can someone explain this? It could probably be put in the article, also, the answer. KP Botany 15:01, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

What's a BIOME??

I think the standard answer is:

Ref: Olson, David M. et al. (2001); Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth.

Ref: Ecoregion World Wildlife Fund (Content Partner); Cutler J. Cleveland (Topic Editor). 2008. "Ecoregion." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment).

I think this paper and this page should guide the whole link tree of the Ecology portal, 14 Terrestrial Biomes, 8 Biografical Realms and 867 Ecoregions. Riparian zone is not one of the Terrestrial Biomes on this list, it is never dry. The colours of the map should be used as guide for the template as well. I tried a compromise at the portuguese version, not great yet. Flooded Grasslands and Savannas was missing ("Chaco", "Pantanal"). --Chris.urs-o (talk) 13:17, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Mangroves Forests are a Terrestrial Biome because Forests are Terrestrial Biomes, as in the WWF classification. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 12:54, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

The new Biome template got more Terrestrial Biomes:

-. Tundra

-. Taiga/boreal forests

-. Montane grasslands and shrublands

-. Temperate coniferous forests

-. Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests

-. Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests

-. Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrub

-. Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

-. Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests

-. Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

-. Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

-. Deserts and xeric shrublands

-. Flooded grasslands and savannas

-. Riparian

-. Wetland

Aquatic Biomes

-. Pond

-. Littoral/intertidal zone

-. Mangrove forests

-. Kelp forest

-. Coral reef

-. Neritic zone

-. Continental shelf

-. Pelagic zone

-. Benthic zone

-. Hydrothermal vents

-. Cold seeps

-. Pack ice

There is an Hierarchy: Earth - Ecozone/ Biome (Major Habitat Type!!!) - Bioregion - Habitat

Riparian, Wetland, Littoral/intertidal zone, Kelp forest, Pack ice, Pond are Habitats of a Bioregion with its inhomogeneity, and a Bioregion of a Biome and a Ecozone !!! --Chris.urs-o (talk) 22:11, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Global 200 WWF got: [1] [2]

Terrestrial Biomes:

Tropical & Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests XX01NN

Tropical & Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests XX02NN

Tropical & Subtropical Coniferous Forests XX03NN

Temperate Broadleaf & Mixed Forests XX04NN

Temperate Coniferous Forests XX05NN

Boreal Forests/Taiga XX06NN

Tropical & Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, & Shrublands XX07NN

Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, & Shrublands XX08NN

Flooded Grasslands and Savannas XX09NN

Montane Grasslands and Shrublands XX10NN

Tundra XX11NN

Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, & Shrub XX12NN

Deserts & Xeric Shrublands XX13NN

Mangrove XX14NN

Aquatic Biomes - Major Habitat Type: [3]

polar freshwaters

montane freshwaters

temperate coastal rivers

temperate floodplain rivers and wetlands

temperate upland rivers

tropical and subtropical upland rivers

tropical and subtropical floodplain rivers and wetland complexes

tropical and subtropical coastal rivers

xeric freshwaters and endorheic (closed) basins

large river deltas

Oceanic Islands

large lakes

The Marine Biomes would be the rest:

Littoral/intertidal zone

Kelp forest

Coral reef

Neritic zone

Continental shelf

Pelagic zone

Benthic zone

Hydrothermal vents

Cold seeps

Pack ice

Marine Biomes by Global 200 Marine ecoregions:


Temperate shelfs and seas

Temperate upwelling

Tropical upwelling

Tropical coral

--Chris.urs-o (talk) 15:10, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

WWF "Major Habitat Types"[edit]

I can't find anything (in this article or elsewhere) on what criteria are used to define the WWF's "major habitat types" (biomes), or what other classification system it's based on. —Pengo 03:36, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

The book Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America says on pp. 12-13 that the WWF grouped their ecoregions "into ten major habitat types (MHTs), following a global framework applied in other regional analyses (Dinerstein et al. 1995; Olson and Dinerstein 1998)." And that "MHTs are not geographically defined units; rather, they refer to the dynamics of ecological systems and to the broad vegetative structures and patterns of species diversity that define them. In this way they are roughly equivalent to biomes." The sources cited in full are:
Olson, D.M., and E. Dinerstein. 1998. The Global 200: A representation approach to conserving the earth's most biologically valuable ecoregions. Conservation Biology 3:502-515.
Dinerstein, E., D.M. Olson, D.J. Graham, A.L. Webster, S.A. Primm, M.P. Bookbinder, and G. Ledec. 1995. A conservation assessment of the terrestrial ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington, DC: World Bank.
I realize this doesn't quite answer your question, but at least it points in that direction. Pfly 07:48, 10 April 2007 (UTC)


Can we consider revising and reintroducing the biome template that I created some time ago? I think that it would be useful to have some sort of way of navigating through the various biomes. I know that I rather briskly introduced it beforehand, but I feel that with some improvement, it could really work (I know it’s rather massive!) Cheers! Max Naylor 19:39, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


I'm thinking of editing the introduction, but thought I'd post about it here first.

One of the issues is the way the word biome is defined (even in many textbooks) as a large regional grouping based on specific plants and animals (or biota). But biomes are not, strictly speaking, based on biota, as just about any global biome map shows, like this one, a quick find via google. A biome like "temperate deciduous forest" occurs on most continents, as that map shows, but the biota of any given biome is quite different on different continents. Australian forests have Agathis (kauri) trees, for example, while South America has Fitzroya (alerce), and North America has Douglas-fir. Europe has none of these. Terms like biota and "plant community" are based on specific species and groups of species, if I understand it right.

Wouldn't it be useful to point out something about how biomes are not based on specific plants or communities but rather on "ecologically similar" biota that are "not necessarily related taxonomically"? Some definitions do make this point -- like here and here. Others don't, like here, which seems to confuse biomes and ecozones ("biogeographic kingdoms" on that page).

A glossary in a WWF book I have defines biota as "the combined flora, fauna, and microorganisms of a given region"; and, in contrast, guild as " of organisms, not necessarily taxomonically related, .. [but] ecologically similar in .. diet, behavior, ... or with regard to their ecological role in general". They use the term "major habitat type" (MHT) instead of biome, saying that MHTs are "roughly equivalent to biomes." The glossary defines MHT as a set of ecoregions that are similar in several ways; 1) similar climate; 2) similar vegetation structure; 3) similar biodiversity patterns; and 4) flora and fauna with similar guild structures and life histories." The use of the term guild in place of biota seems significant.

Anyway, I was thinking of trying to rewrite the introduction to make this kind of stuff clearer. As it is now, it is hard to tell why biomes are not more like ecozones -- which are based on biota, distinguishing Australia from North America.

This brings up another issue with the introduction. If the stuff I wrote above is true, then biomes are not based on regional or geographic patterns. Once defined and mapped, biomes show geographic patterns, but isn't that a effect rather than a cause of defining biomes? And if so, then it is not quite accurate to say that biomes are "subdivided into ecoregions", as I've often seen. Rather, ecoregions are defined by various factors including geographic ones, resulting in a bounded region. Ecoregions are assigned to a biome (or MHT). As a result, you can make a map of biomes, but the geographic boundaries come from the ecoregion definitions and not the biome -- at least in the WWF system, which seems to be the main one used on wikipedia. There are probably other systems that do define biomes geographically and then subdivide them.

My thought is to try to condense this long babble I just wrote into something short and simple to use in the introduction. Perhaps something about the meaning of "biome" in a very general sense, then a mention of example systems, including the WWF's system, which can then be explained in more detail in its own section. Many other pages could use clarification along these lines, it seems to me.

Does this all make sense? Sorry for the lengthy text. Pfly 21:17, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

WWF definitions seems to be: 867 Ecoregions of the Earth are assigned to one of 14 biomes (or "major habitat type", MHT)and one of 8 Biogeografical Realms. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 13:28, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

The first sentence in the intro is incorrect as it is: "A biome is a climatically and geographically defined area of ecologically similar climatic conditions such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, [1] and are often referred to as ecosystems." This basically equates conditions to communities and animals. Animals are not a condition. I can't think of suitable words at the moment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Duboshi (talkcontribs) 15:34, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Agree that this is a mess. The Campbell quote doesn't help, although I've seen it on multiple sites (what is "that environment"?) What seems to make sense is to distinguish "habitat types" from biomes. HT's are things like "grasslands" and "rain forests". Biomes are the things that live in particular habitats. I.e., not types. I.e., the biome of the Russian steppes is different from the biome of the American prairie. I.e., they are characterized by their inhabitants, not by the environment. The biomes that occupy a particular HT are interestingly comparable, but not the same. It may help to think about the human microbiome. The HT is "human body", but the MB is "things that live on/in Joe's body". This is conceptually crisp, but may not conform to common usage. In any event, an appropriate source is necessary to avoid OR. Lfstevens (talk) 07:03, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Material moved from "Organism"[edit]

The following material on biomes appeared inappropriately in the article on organisms, and I have therefore removed it from there.

However, it - or parts of it - may be of use in this article. Plantsurfer (talk) 14:31, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Spatial relationships and subdivisions of land[edit]

Ecosystems are not isolated from each other, but are interrelated. For example, water may circulate between ecosystems by the means of a river or ocean current. Water itself, as a liquid medium, even defines ecosystems. Some species, such as salmon or freshwater eels move between marine systems and fresh-water systems. These relationships between the ecosystems lead to the concept of a biome.

A biome is a homogeneous ecological formation that exists over a large region as tundra or steppes. The biosphere comprises all of the Earth's biomes -- the entirety of places where life is possible -- from the highest mountains to the depths of the oceans.

Biomes correspond rather well to subdivisions distributed along the latitudes, from the equator towards the poles, with differences based on to the physical environment (for example, oceans or mountain ranges) and to the climate. Their variation is generally related to the distribution of species according to their ability to tolerate temperature and/or dryness. For example, one may find photosynthetic algae only in the photic part of the ocean (where light penetrates), while conifers are mostly found in mountains.

Though this is a simplification of more complicated scheme, latitude and altitude approximate a good representation of the distribution of biodiversity within the biosphere. Very generally, the richness of biodiversity (as well for animal than plant species) is decreasing most rapidly near the equator (as in Brazil) and less rapidly as one approaches the poles.

The biosphere may also be divided into ecozone, which are very well defined today and primarily follow the continental borders. The ecozones are themselves divided into ecoregions, though there is not agreement on their limits. Plantsurfer (talk) 14:31, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Map Key[edit]

not all the colours are represented in the key. Please could this be amended?Betaben (talk) 23:56, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

A complete world map of the biomes would be helpfull. WWF has one to share [[4]]. But it is on geographic format (file type). I think all colours are present, check at map --Chris.urs-o (talk) 08:15, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


This page gets a lot of vandalism. Is it not enough for semi-protection? --Chris.urs-o (talk) 09:30, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

i still do not understand —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:00, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

       Wikipedia may be useful but people can change any RIGHT information t.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 31 January 2010 (UTC) 

Problems in the lede[edit]

As currently written, the lead sentence—

Biomes are climatically and geographically defined as similar climatic conditions on the Earth, such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, and are often referred to as ecosystems

— is nearly incomprehensible. I've taken a stab at simplifying it—

A biome is an area of ecologically similar climatic conditions hosting a community of living organisms

—but am not confident that my somewhat clearer wording isn't misleading in one or more important ways, so I'm not making the change yet.

Grammar and syntax aside, the lede should make clear the difference between a biome and an ecosystem; the "often referred to" wording is weaselly and needs to go. Either they're synonymous or they're not. If they're not, then substituting one term for the other would be inaccurate. (I think that a biome can comprise multiple ecosystems, but it has been a few years since I studied this stuff, so I'm a little fuzzy on the particulars.) If no experts (or cocky know-it-alls) wander by here soon, I'll post something at a relevant WikiProject page or maybe the Reference Desk. Rivertorch (talk) 20:37, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

new biome?[edit]

you need to look after world biomes as they are dying very quickly.

what is a biomeCite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). </ref> — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Whittaker Biome Types Omitted[edit]

The Whittaker biome types are not included, but they should be. Please add them.--Trouveur de faits (talk) 20:24, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Look again. The article has a section on them. Plantsurfer (talk) 22:14, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

see also links[edit]

Hello all administrators and regular user alike, I am D011235813d.

I would like to ask for any advice on my planned action. I am planning to remove the links below from the "see also" section of the page Biome due to the notice:

found on the section.

These are the links and what I think about them:

(if necessary,integrate into article) altitudinal zonation,biomics,habitat, pedology,World Network of Biosphere Reserves,life zone,natural environment,climate classification,ecozone,ecosystem,ecology,ecoregion,Man and the Biosphere Programme.

(not necessary or related) pliocene, gene pool,kulcher plant association,genetic pollution,growing region,human microbiome,Effect of climate change on plant biodiversity,nature,ecotope,Ecosystem diversity.

please advise me on what to do.

Thank you for your time.

D011235813d (talk) 19:06, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Marine biomes[edit]

Love to see more discussion of marine biomes. A couple of the taxos mention them, but it would be great to see a major section discussing them. Lfstevens (talk) 04:27, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

noticed a minor inconsistency[edit]

Something strange about this sentence, "The Bailey system, based on climate, is divided into seven domains (polar, humid temperate, dry, humid, and humid tropical), with further divisions based on other climate characteristics (subarctic, warm temperate, hot temperate, and subtropical; marine and continental; lowland and mountain).[1]"

Those "seven domains" seem to be described as only four. It might be an error -- someone please check? I'm just a casual user who noticed something (talk) 03:46, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

This article needs a higher-quality version of its lead image[edit]

The one currently in use is of very poor quality, to the point where a number of the legend descriptions cannot be read. (talk) 13:08, 10 March 2016 (UTC)  Done I noticed that myself, and just changed the image to something superior we already had on commons. Snow let's rap 02:18, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

biomes are homes for diverse species — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:09, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

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So is biome and ecosystem the same or not?[edit]

I am currently working on the article on ecosystems. I came to this article and find it doesn't explain clearly anywhere what the difference is between biome and ecosystem. E.g. there is this sentence here "The multiauthored series Ecosystems of the world, edited by David W. Goodall, provides a comprehensive coverage of the major "ecosystem types or biomes" on earth" - seems to imply that ecosystem and biome is the same? Is it? EMsmile (talk) 02:59, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

  1. ^ Bailey System, US Forest Service