The World's Biomes

By: Meadhbh Carroll






Most tundras are located in the Northern Hemisphere. When looking at plant life, the tundra consists of mosses, such as the Arctic and Caribou Moss. The tundra is mostly is filled with shurbs, sedges, lichens, and grasses. There is also about 400 varieties of flower, including the Pasque flower. There are many animals in the tundra. Alot of land mammals are found, including  herds of carabou, wolverines, bears, foxes, and hares. In the summertime, tiny bugs such as, black flies, deer flies, and mosquitoes, roam throughout the tundra. Birds, such as the harlequinn duck, migrate to the tundra. 


In the winter, temperatures in the tundra can decrease to -94 degrees Faranheit, with averaging annual temperature at -18 degrees Faranheit. During the summer, average temperatures range from 37 degrees Faranheit -60 degrees Faranheit. The average yearly precipitation is a total of 6-10 inches of rain. The average precipitation per year is 18 inches, most of it falling as snow. The primary soil type is gelisols and are usually frozen.


Many people live in the tundra to work in the mines and oil rigs. They have built roads and towns, which shields animals away from reaching shelters and denning grounds. Many animals starve from their feeding patterns being disrupted and are shot from humans. For instance, the Alaskan oil pipeline also built across a carabou route, and raised above ground making it available for the carabou to pass underground. The use of pesticides to control insects, decreasing the large amount of insects for the birds that migrate to the tundra. Also, pollution from the mining and drilling for oil has polluted the lakes, rivers, and air. Not much protection for the Tundra has been enacted becuase the oil and gas industries control most of the area. 






The taiga biome is located close to the top of the Earth and spreads across Eurasia and North America. Becuase of the extreme freezing weather, most plants found in the taiga biome are coniferous trees like pine, white spruce, hemlock, and douglas fir. For animals, mostly predators live within the taiga, such as wolverines, bobcats, and lynx. They hunt snowshoe rabbits, red squirrels, and voles. During the summer, insects arrive and birds migrate, including the bald eagle.


In the winter, the average temperature range is -54 to -1 degrees Celcius. The temperature in the summer can decrease to -7 degrees Celcius and can get as high as 21 degrees Celcius. The total precipitation yearly ranges from 30-85cm. Most precipitation falls as rain in the summer. Snow and dew fall as well. The most primary soil type is Spodosol, which is highly acidic and most important nutrients leach through the soil.


Humans have made a negative impact on the taiga by logging, which destroys animal habitats and creates soil erosion. Oil and gas industries cut down trees and extract lands to store toxic tailings. However, humans are creating a positive impact as well through the Forest Stewardship Council, Taiga Rescue Network, and the World Wildlife Foundation. These organizations are protecting the forests, helpling endangered species, and striving to protect the taiga's lands.  








The grasslands are located in the middle latitudes and inside the edge of the continents. Common plant life on the North American prairie are Buffalo Grass, Sunflower, Crazy Weed, Asters, Blazing Stars, Coneflowers, Goldenrods, Clover, and Wild Indigos. Some common animals in the grasslands are Coyotes, Eagles, Bobcats, the Gray Wolf, Wild Turkey, Fly Catcher, Canadian Geese, Crickets, Dung Beetle, Bison, and Prairie Chicken.    


The average yearly precipitation ranges from 10-30 inches. The average yearly temperature ranges from -40 degrees Faranheit to 70 degrees Farenheit. The primary soil type is deep and dark, with fertile upper layers.


Humans do live in the grasslands and have negatively effected the area from overgrazing by livestock, and building of highways, industrial parks and homes. The increase of human population has also added to the suffering of the grasslands. Many open spaces of the grasslands are being highly preserved and protected. Habitats of animals are also being extensively protected from human actions.

Deciduous Forest


Deciduous forests are located in the eastern half of North America and in the middle of Europe. Many animals located here are camouflaged to blend in with the ground such as, white-tailed deer and the American black bear. Plant life consists of American Beech, Carpet Moss, White oak, Shagbarck Hickory.


The averge yearly precipitation ranges from 30-60 inches. The average yearly temperature is 50 degrees Farenheit. The primary soil type is alfisol. It is a grayish-brown color and has high fertility. 


Many animals have lost their habitats due to construction of towns and clearing land for farms. Conservationists plan to replant trees that have been cut down but people's demands for other consumption are in higher demand than protection of the forests.



The chaparral biome is located in the west coast of the United States, the west coast of South America, the Cape Town area of South Africa, the western tip of Australia and the coastal areas of the Mediterranean. Dominant animals are grassland and desert species that are adapted to the heat. Such as, coyotes, jack rabbits, mule deer, alligator lizards, horned toads, praying mantis, honey bee and ladybugs. Plant life consists of hard, small leaves that lock in moisture. Such as, poison oak, scrub oak and Yucca Wiple.


The average yearly precipitation ranges 10-17 inches. The average yearly temperature ranges from 10 degrees Celcius to 40 degrees Celcius. The primary soil typically dry and rich in iron and has a chestnut type of color. 


The chaparrale biome is being modified by humans from the building industries. Restoration ecology is attempting to restore the environment.        




Hot and dry deserts are located near the Tropic of Cancer or the Tropic of Capricorn. Cold deserts are located in the Arctic. Plants found in the hot desert are very few and low, such as the barrel cactus, and the jumping cholla. In the cold deserts, most plants are deciduous, such as scrub and sagebrush. Hot desert animals include Armadillo lizard, Cactus wren, and tortoise. Cold Deserts have animals like Antelope, Ground Squirrels, Jack Rabbits, and Kangaroo Rats.


In the hot desert, the average yearly precipiation is 1inch. The average annual temperature is 20-25 degrees Celcius.  In the cold desert, the average yearly precipitation ranges from 15-26cm a year. The average yearly temperature ranges from -2 to 26 degrees Celcius. The primary soil type is sandy coarse sand, little organic matter, high amounts of rocks and minerals.


Humans have negatively effected the desert by drving off the roads and onto the desert's ground where animals' habitats are destroyed and the tracks from the vehicle disrupts the vegetation. Also water mining from reservoirs, military exercise and trenching involved with pipelines of gas, oil, and water have made grounds unstable and almost barren. Many species have become endangered due to these human actions. Humans have positively impacted the desert by having reservations for endangered animals and other threatened species.







The Savanna is located in in a wide band on either side of the equator on the edges of tropical rainforests. Animals include zebras, giraffes, lions, and elephants. Plants include trees, such as Candelabra, Mankettit, Jarrah, and Jackelberry trees. Also grasses, including Bermuda and Elephant grasses.


 The avergae yearly precipitation ranges from 15-25 inches. The average annual temperature ranges from 68-86 degrees Farenheit. The primary soil types are lithosols, red/yellow earths, lateritic, crackling clays, deep sands, and aluvial soils.


Humans have increasingly taken over huge areas of land in the savanna for overgrazing and farming for their cattle and goats. The savanna loses their vegetation from this and turn into desert land. A positive impact that humans have enacted is the Serengeti which contains many national parks and game reserves, allowing animal populations to thrive and providing protection for endangered species 





The rainforest is located in regions of year round warmth, such as parts of Africa, Southe America and lower parts of Asia. There are three major rainforests; the American, the African, and the Asian. Animals found in the rainforests differ, however each one has species of monkeys, like the chimpanzee, and the proboscis monkey. Plants in the rainforest have adapted to the amount of rain that falls on them each year. Most plants have drip tips and oily coatings on their leaves to prevent getting weighed down. Plants also have big leaves to absorb sunlight, such as bougainvillea and curare. There are also many trees that grow exotic fruits, such as the durian and coconut trees. 


The average yearly precipitation ranges from 50-260 inches. The average annual temperature ranges from 68 degrees Farenheit to 93degrees Farengeit. The primary soil types are less in nutrients and organic matter.


Rainforests are home to tribal people. Humans have negatively effected the rainforest from logging. Entire forests are chopped down and species are lost everyday due to this action. Ways that people are trying to save the rainforests, is through non-profit organizations, such as the Rainforest alliance, Amazon, and the World Wildlife foundation. They are trying to stop deforestation and conserve wildlife.  







The alpine biome is found all around the world, just below the snow line of a mountain, at an altitude of 10,000 feet or more. There are only about 200 species of plants in the Alpine, including the wild potato, bear grass, and britslecone pine. The animals in the alpine are warm blooded and include the llam, alpaca, yak, moutain goat, and chinchilla.


The average yearly precipitation is 30cm. The yearly annual temperature ranges from -12 degrees Celcius to 10 degrees Celcius. The primary soil type is classified as Gelisols.


 Humans live in the Alpine. Humans are causing great threat to the alpine through, mining, grazing, and tourism. The Australian Alps Liaison Committee are creating a plan to provide recreational and tourism experiences fro the public, while educating, encouraging, and conserving the natural and cultural values of the Alpine.






Works Cited CSE


Schaffner B. Bue Planet Biomes . 2010 Sep 23 [accessed 2016 Nov 21]. 
Human Impacts. [accessed 2016 Nov 21]. 
Pullen S, editor. Importance of Biomes. 2004 Apr [accessed 2016 Nov 21]. 
 K-12 Soil Science Teacher Resources. [accessed 2016 Nov 21].