The global distributions of ecosystems
The distribution of large-scale ecosystems (biomes) is determined by climate. Latitude, air pressure and winds are important factors that determine the climate of a place.
The map shows the distribution of the global ecosystems or biomes.
Characteristics of biomes
- Polar - found near the north and south poles. Only specialised plants and animals survive here.
- Temperate deciduous forest - found across Europe and in the USA. These trees lose their leaves every year and thrive in mild and wet conditions known as a temperate maritime climate.
- Temperate grassland - found in Hungary, South Africa, Argentina and the USA. Consists of grass and trees that thrive in a temperate continental climate of moderate rainfall and mild conditions.
- Desert - found near the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Conditions here are very hot and dry. Plants and animals are specially adapted to survive in the harsh conditions.
- Tropical rainforest - found near the Equator. The climate is hot and humid and many different species can be found here.
- Savanna grassland - found mainly in central Africa, southern India, northern Australia and central South America. Long grasses and a few scattered trees are found in these hot and dry conditions.
- Coral reefs - found in a zone extending from 30° north to 30° south of the equator. They form some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth.