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Earth's biomes are areas with similar climate, geography, and other conditions as well as similar plants, animals, and other living things.
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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.

Last modified October 28, 2008 by Lisa Gardiner.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA