Meaning of Biome

Biome is a term that comes from the English biome. The concept refers to each region in which a certain kind of vegetation prevails. For example: “Researchers are trying to increase their knowledge of this biome”, “Several different biomes coexist in our countries”, “Pollution threatens one of the most important biomes in the Andean region”.

It is often said that biomes, also known as biotic areas, are areas that share flora, fauna and climate. They are defined through the predominant vegetation and can encompass several different ecosystems in the same biogeographic territory.

It must be known that in order to delimit and determine a biome, it must be taken into account that it must have a series of essential characteristics. We are referring to a relief, a temperature, rainfall, altitude and also latitude.

According to DigoPaul, a biome expresses the ecological characteristics of a site. The soil and climate establish the conditions to which the animals and plants of the biome adapt. Thus an ecological community is established whose members interact with each other and with the environment.

It is important not to confuse the notion of biome with other similar ones, such as ecosystem (the community of living organisms that interact with each other and develop according to the physical factors of the environment), habitat (the area with the right conditions for certain species to inhabit in particular) or ecozone (the territory where species subsist in a certain isolation thanks to the existence of barriers such as mountain ranges or oceans).

Biomes are divided into aquatic biomes and terrestrial biomes. The Mediterranean forest or chaparral, the tundra, the prairie, the steppe, the savannah, the tropical forest, the mangrove and the desert are some of the biomes that can be found on our planet.

Going a little deeper into those we can establish some characteristics such as these:
-In the tundra there are really harsh conditions for the survival of living beings due, above all, to low temperatures.
-The desert has the peculiarity of being the hottest biome on the entire planet Earth. There is little rainfall and very high temperatures. It is the organisms that live in it that have to adapt to the scarcity of water.
-The forests of tropical and subtropical areas are really humid biomes, there is very little vegetation and rainfall is really frequent.
-The pastures, where there is a great variety of plants. They have the particularity of having a very dry season and a very humid one.

Aquatic biomes differ from terrestrial ones, above all, in factors such as temperature, humidity or water characteristics. Specifically, among the most relevant are these two:
-The seamen, which are formed by what is salty water. Within this category are included the oceans, seas, coral reefs…
-Fresh water, which are identified by the presence of what is fresh water. They have abundant vegetation and within this group are both streams and lagoons and even lakes.