GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Earth's biomes, global map. Terrestrial biomes (also called ecosystems) are geographic land areas with similar climatic conditions, often characterised by the plants and animals found there. Nine biomes are shown here, though more complex classifications subdivide these biomes further. The colour-coded key (lower left) names the biomes (examples given in brackets): temperate broadleaf forest (northern Europe); coniferous forest (Russia); temperate grassland (North America's Great Plains); Mediterranean (Spain); tropical rainforest (the Amazon); desert (the Sahara); mountain (the Himalayas); tundra ( Arctic Canada); and polar (the Arctic and Antarctic).
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