Notes: Biomes

Land and Aquatic Biomes

Be sure you have an understanding of the 7 major terrestrial biomes, their climate, flora (plant life) and fauna (animal life) and precipitation.

There are two basic categories of communities:

These two basic types of communities contain eight smaller units known as biomes. A biome is a large-scale category containing many communities of a similar nature, whose distribution is largely controlled by climate.

Terrestrial Biomes:

Aquatic Biomes:


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Another excellent source of information about Ocean Biomes is the University of California Museum of Paleontology's Marine Biome website:

Screenshot of and link to University of California Museum of Paleontology marine biome website  

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Photic Zone - light penetrates the water column; algae are the primary producers along with kelps and seaweed; the majority of ocean dwelling organisms inhabit the photic zones.

Aphotic Zone - no light - producers are chemosynthetic bacteria. The aphotic zone of the ocean begins at roughly 200 m and extends to the ocean floor. Temperatures can range from roughly 0 °C (32 °F) to 6 °C (43 °F). Unusual and unique creatures dwell in this expanse of pitch black water, such as eels, giant squid, tube worms, chemosynthetic bacteria and even anglerfish.

Estuaries - these are regions near the ocean shores where fresh water flows into salt water. Estuaries are the most nutrient rich aquatic biomes and are the favored 'nurseries' of many ocean dwelling organisms.


Map of Major Terrestrial (Land) Biomes of the World

Map or major biomes in the world

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To learn more about terrestrial (land) biomes, use the resource below. Use the table below the interactive resource at the bottom of the page to make notes about the information being displayed.

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Print and use the table below to take notes on the common locations, climate, vegetation, and animals common to each biome. Click here to download a copy of the chart below for your records. Keep this in your notebook! You will need this information as you prepare for quizzes and tests.

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