The distribution of global ecosystems

The map shows the distribution of the global ecosystems or biomes.

The main biomes: tundra, taiga (coniferous forest), temperate deciduous forest, temperate grassland, chaparral or evergreen hardwood (Mediterranean), desert, tropical rainforest, savanna grassland.

Characteristics of biomes

  • Tundra - found near the north and south poles. Very few plants and animals can survive here.
  • Taiga (coniferous forest) - found in Scandinavia, Russia and Canada. Evergreen trees thrive in this cool, temperate climate.
  • 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.
  • Chaparral or evergreen hardwood (Mediterranean) - found around the Mediterranean Sea, around Perth and Melbourne in Australia, and California in the USA.
  • 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.

Ecosystems change gradually between the Equator and the poles.

Ecosystems change going from the North Pole to the Equator: tundra, taiga, temperate deciduous forest, evergreen hardwood, desert, savanna grassland, tropical rainforest.