Earth's biomes are areas with similar climate, geography, and other conditions as well as similar plants, animals, and other living things.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe
Biomes and Ecosystems
Biomes are large areas of the world where there are similar plants, animals, and other living things. The living things are adapted to the climate. Explore the links below to learn more about different biomes.
A biome is made of many similar ecosystems. In an ecosystem, the plants, animals, and other organisms rely on each other. They also interact with non-living parts of the ecosystem such as the soil, water, and nutrients.
In an ecosystem, each type of plant and animal has its own role to play.† The role for one animal might be to climb trees and eat their fruit, while the role for another animal might be to hunt for mice.† For a tree, a role might be to grow tall and make food with the Sunís energy.
Sometimes ecosystems get out of balance. If, for example, it rains a lot and a type of bird that loves water increases in numbers, other species in the ecosystem might be crowded out. The birds might take food or space from other species.† They might eat all the food. Sometimes an ecosystem gets back in balance naturally. Other times an ecosystem will become more and more out of balance.† Today, human actions are having an impact on ecosystems all over the world, sending many ecosystems out of balance.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
Kingdom Plantae has almost 300,000 different kinds of plants. Plants are found all over planet Earth. They can live in fields, in swamps, in oceans and in the desert. They can live where it is hot and...more
It is not easy to survive in the very cold places of the world. The soil is frozen and no trees can grow. This place is called tundra. Plants and animals that are adapted for cold do live there. Most...more
The taiga biome is full of evergreen forests. These forests are sometimes called boreal forests. You can find taiga forests just south of tundra in the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and North America....more
Temperate forests are found all over the world, but they are not all the same. Some forests have trees that lose their leaves in the winter. These trees are called deciduous. Other forests have trees that...more
Have you ever been to a rainforest? Rainforests have very different trees than the ones you might climb in your yard. Thousands of species of plants and animals live in the rain forests of the world. But...more
Deserts are very hot and dry places. Deserts get very little rain each year. So how do plants and animals live here? This section on the desert ecosystem will explain how! Do you know what a desert looks...more
Do you know what grassland looks like? You're right, it looks like fields of grass! But there are many different types of grass. Some look a lot different than the grass in your yard! Grassland makes...more