Introduction to Biomes

Introduction to Biomes

Introduction to Biomes

Introduction to Biomes


"Introduction to Biomes" is both a standalone summary to the concept of biomes and an introduction to the 8-volume series "Greenwood Guides to Biomes of the World."

The volume covers:

The biome concept and brief descriptions of vegetation, climate and distribution of the terrestrial and of the range of freshwater and aquatic biomes covered in the set.

Classifying life - how scientists discuss the taxonomic hierarchy and how it has been used to determine how to divide the world into regions based on living organisms.

The ecosystem concept - how this and other major concepts from ecology that are key to understanding biomes.

Terrestrial environments - the various climatic variables and climate types, and a discussion of our changing planet

Aquatic environments and life - how lifeforms and food chains make aquatic environments distinct from terrestrial biomes. Maps, photos, diagrams, drawings, and tables accompany the text, as do sidebars that highlight habitats, species, and ecological relationships.

The volume includes a bibliography of accessible resources for further research."


The biome is a way to bring order to the incredible variation inherent in life on the Earth. Both similarities and differences exist in the assemblages of organisms found in different parts of the world, an observation noted by any traveler and first systematized in the eighteenth century. It is evident, at least on land, that the greatest similarity occurs in regions with the same climate. Although the actual species present are usually not the same, the structure or appearance of the vegetation is. Species adapt to their environment, and a strategy that works in one part of a climate region often works for other species in another part of the region. This basic fact is the foundation of the biome concept.

This book serves not only as an introduction to biomes, but also as the introductory volume in Greenwood Guides to Biomes of the World. With this dual purpose, it emphasizes the concept of the biome and the various environmental factors that control or determine the nature of terrestrial and aquatic biomes at a global scale. For details on one of the world’s major biomes, the reader is directed to the volume dedicated to that particular biome. Information is drawn from physical geography, ecology, evolutionary biology, geology, and oceanography to explain the current patterns of life. Change is a constant factor influencing life on the Earth, so considerable attention is given to past, present, and future affects of the ever-changing global environment.

The intended audience of Greenwood Guides to Biomes of the World is the advanced middle school or high school student. The material is also appropriate for undergraduates and anyone else interested in better understanding the . . .

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