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GACS lclab Honors Biology - Chapter 3 - Section 3.2 - Terrestial Biomes

ecosystems on land are grouped into biomes

primarily based on the plant communities within them

plant communities are specific to

particular ecosystems


the condition of the atmosphere at a specific place and time


the distance of any point on the surface of the Earth north or south of the equator


ranges from 0 degrees at the equator to 90 degrees at the poles

polar, temperate and tropical zones

areas where the Earth's surface is heated differently because the light from the Sun strikes the Earth more directly at the equator than at the poles


the average weather conditions in an area, including temperature and precipitation


has a large effect on an areas climate


large group of ecosystems that share the same climate and have similar types of communities

Ways humans have affected climate

the hole in the ozone layer and through global warming

global warming

in part a result of the greenhouse effect


classified primarily according to the characteristics of their plants


also characterized by temperature and precipitation; animial species are also important


created by temperature imbalances


treeless biome with a layer of permanently frozen soil below the surface


permanently frozen soil below the surface


extends in a band below the polar ice caps across North America, Europe and Siberia in Asia

boreal forest

broad band of dense evergreen forest also called northern coniferous forest

boreal forest

extends across NOrth America, Europe and Asia

temperate forests

composed mostly of broad-leaved, deciduous trees

deciduous trees

trees that shed their leaves in autumn

temperate forests

cover much of southeastern Canada, eastern United States and most of Europe

woodland biome

occurs in areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea on the western coasts of North and South America, and in South Afrida and Australia


areas dominated by shrubs

woodlands and mixed shrub communities

areas with less annual rainfall then temperate forests


biome that is characterized by fertile soils that are able to support a thick cover of grasses

temperate grassland

found in North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia


any area in which annual rate of evaporation exceeds the rate of precipitation

tropical savanna

characterized by grasses and scattered trees in climates that receive less precipitation than some other tropical areas

tropical savanna biomes

occur in Africa, South America and Australia

tropical seasonal forests

tropical dry forests

tropical rain forest

warm temperatures and large amounts of rainfall throughout the year

tropical rain forest

most diverse of all land biomes


do not fit the definition of a biome because their climate characteristics and plant and animal life vary depending on elevation

polar regions

border the tundra at high latitudes

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