“What is the range of biomes found on the earth and why are they located there?” Often referred to as ecosystems, there is a range of different biomes found all over the world. Biomes are categorised specifically by location, and when placed on a map (image above) are highlighted in different colours. The first thing to do when categorising biomes is to clarify whether they are terrestrial (on land) or aquatic (in the ocean). This then leads us to the next categorisation step, which is to determine what kind of biome it is. Does it consist of hot dry temperatures? What plants are featured in the biome? There are five main types of biomes: Aquatic, Deserts, Forests, Grasslands and Tundra. You then can decide what kind of biome it is by elaborating through its characteristics.
The distribution of biomes is determined by many contributing factors, the main factor being global climatic zones. An area’s climate will determine what sort of biome can be sustained in that area. For example, Tundra is not going to be sustained in an area of high annual temperatures. Global climate zones determine the latitudinal patterns of biomes, with other determining factors being the sun’s angle, heat import, global annual rainfall and the angle of the earth's rotation. Regional climates, which determine the distribution of biomes, are also affected by other forms of geography such as rain shadows and cold or warm ocean currents.
The reason most biomes are in a specific location is because of the climate in those areas. Ecologist ‘Robert Whittaker’ plotted records of annual precipitation against annual temperature for locations around the planet and then grouped them within the biomes generally found in those places. The result was the graph below. This helps support the hypothesis that biomes that form anywhere in the world are mainly the result of the combination of rainfall and temperature found in those areas.
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