Terrestrial Biomes Summary Chart







Tropical Forest

hot and wet

rainfall year-round, with little to no dry season

 Lichen, moss, ferns,


monkeys, birds

, snakes, 

rodents, frogs, and lizards

40% of the yearly carbon loss from deforestation.


very hot and dry.

dry soil. Barely any water

Barrel cactus, brittle bush, Joshua tree, saguaro cactus and soaptree yucca

Foxes, spiders, antelopes, elephants and lions

we run our vehicles over the desert soil and carve the tracks into the soil we kill off vegetation in the desert.


temperature range of 68° to 86°F. In the winter, it is usually about 68° to 78° F

The soil of the savanna is porous, with rapid drainage of water.

pine trees, palm trees, and acacia trees

wildebeest, warthogs, elephants, zebras, rhinos, gazelles, hyenas, cheetahs, lions, leopards,ostrich, mousebirds, starlings, and weavers.

The trees and animals have less space to be so the population decreases with the land, making everything smaller.


very hot and dry. 

thin and rocky,nutrient poor and highly susceptible to erosion. 

poison oak, scrub oak, Yucca Wiple and other shrubs,trees and cacti.

coyotes, jack rabbits, mule deer, alligator lizards, horned toads, praying mantis, honey bee and ladybugs.

Creation of water diversions, damming, and competition by invasive plant and animal species.

Temperate Grassland

hot summers and cold winters

10 and 35 inches of precipitation a year,

grasses that live in this biome, including, purple needlegrass, wild oats, foxtail, ryegrass, and buffalo grass.

grazing animals are bison and pronghorn. Rodents include pocket gophers and prairie dogs. Carnivores include wolves, coyotes, swift foxes, badgers and black-footed ferrets.

hunting bison, antelope, and other mammals for their fur and meat, as well as clearing the land out for agricultural purposes such as growing crops and rearing cattle.

Coniferous Forest

the winters are long, cold and dry, while the short summers are moderately warm and moist.

Precipitation in coniferous forests varies from 300 to 900 mm annually, usually acidic soils

trees like the spruce, evergreen, pine, aspen, jeffery pine, fir and, of course the conifer. There are also pants like mushrooms, moss, and flowers.

caribou, wolverines, black bears, moose, coyotes, beavers, snowshoe hares, and wood bison. Wood bison are the biggest land mammals in North America.

Clear cutting is the extensive harvesting of trees in an area and its biggest drive is agriculture. deforestation

Temperate Broadleaf Forest

These forests occur in relatively warm and rainy climates, sometimes also with a distinct dry season.

Rainy, fertile soil

Lichen, moss, ferns, wildflowers and other small plants can be found on the forest floor. Shrubs fill in the middle level and hardwood trees like maple, oak, birch, magnolia, sweet gum and beech make up the third level.

Smaller mammals in the temperate deciduous forests include rabbits, otters, monkeys, beavers, raccoons, porcupines and squirrels. Bears, white-tailed deer, moose, tigers, elephants, giraffes, leopards, pandas and humans are some of the larger mammals that live in this biome.

very productive of harvestable plant and animal life. ... In addition, hardwood trees are valuable for timber, so these forests have been severely altered for thousands of years even before extensive farming.


very dry and bitterly cold climate

Poor soil, really cold water

Bearberry.  Labrador Tea. ...  Diamond Leaf. ...  Arctic Moss. ...  Arctic Willow. ...

Caribou Moss. ...

 Tufted Saxifrage. ...

Pasque Flower

musk ox, the Arctic hare, the polar bear, the Arctic fox, the caribou, and the snowy owl.

Air pollution, Exploration of oil, gas, and minerals and construction of pipelines







Lakes, Wetlands

arge communities of plants and animals centered around water with less than 1% salt concentration. Ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and even some wetlands

ponds and lakes, streams and rivers, and wetlands.

Phytoplankton, pond lilies, moss

Zooplankton, invertebrates, Diverse invertebrates, birds, wide variety of insect larvae, rodents, algae, detritus, plants, dragonflies, otters, frogs, alligators, herons.

Draining and filling have destroyed up to 90% of wetlands, which help to purify water and reduce peak flooding.

Possible Algal blooms, oxygen depletion, and fish kill resulting from waste dumping and fertilized land runoff.


Streams, Rivers

Environment has a current, headwaters are generally cold, clear, turbulent, and swift. Warmer water near tributaries.

Streams/Rivers: Rich in oxygen, dissolved or highly fragmented organic matter carried from forested streams.

narrow, rocky bottom, shallow/deeps pools. Meandering/ wide at downstream location. Silty river bottoms.

Grassland or desert rivers may be rich in phytoplankton

great diversity of fishes and invertebrates. In tropical forests organic matter from vegetation is the primary food source for these consumers

Degraded water quality, damming, flood control; impeded species migration including salmon.


Transition area between river and sea where sea water flows up into the estuary junction during high tide and flow back down to the sea at low tide            Varying salinity depending on specific location and rise and fall of tides. River nutrients make estuaries, like wetlands, on of the most productive biomes.

complex network of tidal channels, islands, natural levees, and mudflats

saltmarsh grasses and algae (phytoplankton)

worms, oysters, crabs, many fishes that humans consume, invertebrate/ fish breeding ground, feeding area for waterfowl and some marine mammals.

filling, dredging, and pollution from upstream have disrupted estuaries worldwide


Intertidal Zone

periodically submerged and exposed by tides, twice daily on most shores. Upper zones experience longer exposure to air and variations in temperature, restricting certain organisms to a particular strata.  Oxygen and nutrient levels are generally high and are renewed with each turn of the tides

configuration of bays or coastlines influence the magnitude of waves upon the organisms

diverse marine algae inhabit rocky zones, rich beds of sea grass and algae in sandy zones

Upper rock zone fosters mussels,

barnacles and limpets. Sandy lower zone fosters worms, clams, star fish, crustaceans, sponges, sea anemones, echinoderms, small fishes."

pollution, rock wall barriers have disrupted wave action motion.


Pelagic Zone

Physical Environment            vast realm of open blue water

            High oxygen levels, lower nutrient concentration,

covers 70% of Earth's surface, 4km deep averagely, and 10km at deepest point

phytoplankton (account for 1/2 of photosynthesis on earth), photosynthetic bacteria,

zooplankton: protists, worms, copepods, shrimp-like krill, jellies, small larvae, squids, fishes, sea turtles, marine animals

Overfishing, pollution by waste dumping


Coral Reefs

Formed mainly from calcium carbonate skeletons of Corals. Corals live in photic zone of tropical marine primarily on islands and edges of continents. Sensitive to temperatures below 18-20°C and above 30°C. Similar diversity in deep reefs as well

            High oxygen levels, excluded by high inputs of fresh water and nutrients.

Beginning on a young, high island, Corals attach to solid rock as a fringing reef, next as a barrier reef, and then as a coral atoll.

Mutualistic relationship between algae (unicellular, green, and red) and corals

Coral, fish, and invertebrate diversity is exceptionally high on these reefs like in tropical rain forests

collecting of coral skeletons, overfishing, global warming possibly, costal mangroves


Benthic Zone

lower zones are in deep, pressurized areas of the ocean.

Soft sediment, rocky reefs


worms, bivalves, echinoderms, sea anemones, corals, sponges, sea squirts, turbellarians and larger crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters and cumaceans.

Drilling for oil on the ocean floor. Mining for gold and other valuable ores.

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