According to Wikipedia, a biome /ˈbm/ is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in, and can be found over a range of continents. Spanning continents, biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate [1, 2]. “Biome” is a broader term than “habitat“; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats.

While a biome can cover large areas, a microbiome is a mix of organisms that coexist in a defined space as well, but on a much smaller scale. For example, the human microbiome is the collection of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that are present on a human [3].

A ‘biota’ is the total collection of organisms of a geographic region or a time period, from local geographic scales and instantaneous temporal scales all the way up to whole-planet and whole-timescale spatiotemporal scales. The biotas of the Earth make up the biosphere.

From the beginning of the biome concept in 1916, different appoaches have evolved. For details, please see Wikipedia. On our website, we use the latest concept for WWF / Global 2000 from Olson & Dinerstein (1998):

Biogeographic realms (terrestrial and freshwater)

It should be noted, however, that the applicability of the realms scheme above – based on Udvardy (1975) – to most freshwater taxa is unresolved.[29]

Biogeographic realms (marine)

Biomes (terrestrial)

  1. Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests (tropical and subtropical, humid)
  2. Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests (tropical and subtropical, semihumid)
  3. Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests (tropical and subtropical, semihumid)
  4. Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests (temperate, humid)
  5. Temperate coniferous forests (temperate, humid to semihumid)
  6. Boreal forests/taiga (subarctic, humid)
  7. Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands (tropical and subtropical, semiarid)
  8. Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands (temperate, semiarid)
  9. Flooded grasslands and savannas (temperate to tropical, fresh or brackish water inundated)
  10. Montane grasslands and shrublands (alpine or montane climate)
  11. Tundra (Arctic)
  12. Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub or sclerophyll forests (temperate warm, semihumid to semiarid with winter rainfall)
  13. Deserts and xeric shrublands (temperate to tropical, arid)
  14. Mangrove (subtropical and tropical, salt water inundated)

Biomes (freshwater)

According to the WWF, the following are classified as freshwater biomes:

Biomes (marine)

Biomes of the coastal and continental shelf areas (neritic zone):

[1]   The World’s Biomes, Retrieved August 19, 2008, from University of California Museum of Paleontology.
[2]  Cain, Michael; Bowman, William; Hacker, Sally (2014). Ecology (Third ed.). Massachusetts: Sinauer. p. 51. ISBN 9780878939084.
[3] “Finally, A Map Of All The Microbes On Your Body”.