Salient Characteristics of Major Biomes


S. No. Biomes and Vegetation   Annual   Temperature Water Balance  
  Ecosystem Characteristics Precipitation Range Pattern      
1 Tropical Rain Forest Leaf canopy thick and continuous; 180-400 cm (21-30oC; avg. 25o Surplus all year  
        broadleaf, evergreen trees; (>6 cm/mo) C)          
        vines (lianas), epiphytes, tree              
        ferns palm                
2 Tropical Deciduous Transitional between rain forest and 130-200 cm, Variable always Seasonal surpluses and  
        tropical-grasslands; (40 rainy warm (>18oC)    
        broadleaf, some deciduous days during            
        trees; open parkland to dense four summer            
        undergrowth   months)            
3 Tropical Savanna Transitional between season- 90-150 cm,  
        al forests, rain forests, and seasonal limitations      
        semi-arid tropical steppes and         drought susceptible  
        deserts; trees with flattened              
        crowns, clumped grasses, and              
        bush thickets; e association                
4 Mid-latitude Broadleaf Mixed broadleaf and needle- 75-150 cm Temperate, with Seasonal pattern with  
  and Mixed Forests leaf trees; deciduous broad-   cold season summer maximum  
        leaf, losing leaves in winter,         precipitation (PRECIP)  
        southern and eastern ever-         and potential evaporation  
        green pines demonstrate re           transpiration (POTET);  
        association.           no irrigation needed    
5. Northern needle-leaf Needle-leaf conifers, mostly ev- 35-100 cm Short summer, cold Low POTET, moderate  
  (Taiga, Boreal and ergreen pine, spruce, , larch     winter   PRECEIP, waterlogged and  
  Montane Forest) (deciduous needle-leaf)            
6. Temperate Rain Narrow margin of lush ever- 150-500 cm Mild summer and Large surplus and run-  
  Forest     green and deciduous trees on   mild winter for lati- off  
        windward slopes; redwood,   tude        
        duglus r, tallest trees on Earth                
        (about 100 m high)                
7. Mediterranean Short shrubs, drought adapted, 25-65 cm Hot, dry summer,    
        trending to grassy woodlands; (summer  
        chaparral, marquise etc.   season dry)            
8. Mid-latitude Grass- Tall grass prairies and short 25-75 cm Temperate Soil moisture utilization and  
  lands     grass steppes, highly modified     continental regimes recharge balanced;  
        by human activity; major areas         irrigation and  
        of commercial grain farming;         dry farming in drier  
        plains, steppes, prairies pam-         areas.  
        pas, veld and downs                
9A. Hot Deserts and Semi- Bare ground graduating into < 10 cm Average annual tem- Chronic deficits, ir-  
  deserts     xerophytic plants including   perature, around 18oC regular precipitation  
        succulents, cacti, saquaro and   highest maximum events PRECIP,1/2  
        dry shrubs     temperature on Earth POTET  
9B. Cold -desert and Semi- Short grass, and dry shrubs   2-25 cm Average annual tem- PRECIP, 1/2 POTET  
  desert         15-80 cm perature 18oC      
10. Arctic and Alpine Tun- Treeless; dwarf shrubs, stunted   Warmest month Not applicable most of  
  dra     sedges, mosses, lichen, and   10oC, only 2 or 3 the year, poor drainage  
        short grasses, alpine pastures,   m o n t h s a b o v e in summer  
        grass-meadows (Margs)     freezing        


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