The distribution of fauna and flora, together with climates of the entire planet earth is not uniform. Different regions in the earth are characterized by distinct climates, plants and animals. In these regions, animals and plants are specially adapted to thrive or survive in their environment and communities.
Scientists have therefore classified the earth’s major communities (or ecosystems) mainly according to their climate, vegetation and animals (including organisms). These classifications of the world’s major ecological systems are called biomes, and it is worth mentioning that make-up of each biome is not exclusive to that biome alone. For example, you may find similar freshwater life in the rainforest, just as you may find some desert features in grasslands. For example, one feature of a desert biome is that it has very few large mammals, because of the absence of water to sustain them, coupled with very little shelter to keep them cool. Animals in this biome are usually small, often reptiles, with very small mammals such as the kangaroo mice of North American Deserts.
There are some minor conflicts on the number of biomes on the planet, but generally, world biomes are grouped into five. These are The Aquatic Biome, Desert Biome, Forest Biome, Grassland Biome and Tundra Biome.
Ecological habitats in these major biomes have changed or been altered over time as a result of natural occurrences such as climate change and human actions in recent time, such as water pollution and deforestation.
Biomes are of tremendous importance to everything on earth. From the contributions of the oceans and forests to the water cycle to climate control, foods and medicines, nitrogen and carbon cycle, right up to its spiritual and economic benefits, the need for humans to care and preserve biomes and ecosystems cannot be overemphasized. Human actions that destroy ecosystems can have catastrophic repercussions on the health of the planet.
Find out more about the specifics of each biome on the planet earth.