Terrestrial Biomes: What are biomes?

This guide is designed to help upper elementary students investigate the different characteristics of land biomes.

Guiding Questions

What it would be like to live in another part of the world? What would the temperature be like? Would it be dry or wet? What kinds of animals would you see? What plants grow there? How do the plants and animals survive?

By investigating these questions, you are learning about biomes. The following links provide other questions about the relationship between the living and nonliving things in biomes.

Biome Webcams

Great Smokey Mt. National Park

http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/webcams/parks/grsmcam/grsm.jpg

Image captured from a webcam at Great Smokey Mt. National Park

Explore the links below for realtime images of landscapes, climate, and wildlife in various biomes.

Climate Watch

 

The non-living things in a biome are called abiotic factors. Examples of abiotic factors include precipitation and temperature; they control the type of life that will survive in a biome. The pattern of precipitation and temperature over a long period of time determines a biome's climate. Climate changes can have a serious impact upon the living organisms in a biome.


Kid-Friendly Blogs

What are other people saying about biomes?

Where in the World Are All of the Biomes?

http://chalk.richmond.edu/education/projects/webunits/biomes/map2.gif

A biome is a community of plants and animals that live together in a particular climate.

 The 6 major biomes on Earth include the following:

  • deciduous (temperate) forest
  • desert
  • grassland
  • taiga
  • tropical rain forest
  • tundra

Some areas have characteristics of more than one biome. Earth scientists often give these locations different names. You might also see the following names on biome maps:

  • chaparral, shrubland, Mediterranean forest
  • evergreen, coniferous, needleleaf forest
  • broadleaf forest
  • savannah, prairie, plains
  • wetlands, bogs, marsh
  • boreal
  • alpine, mountain
  • polar ice caps

Facts about Biomes

The following links provide helpful information about biomes. They may include photographs, maps, charts, and video clips. Some sites may be easier to read and understand than others. When you go to a link, quickly scan the information to see if it is right for you.

Biome Video

The living, and once-living, things in a biome are biotic factors. These include plants, animals, and insects. This video provides a brief introduction to the plant (flora) and animal (fauna) life of each biome. The video also shows the water (aquatic) biomes.

Wildlife Finder

In a biome, wildlife refers to both the flora (plant life) and fauna (all types of animal life) found there. The following links provide information about wildlife in different locations around the world.

Related Search Terms

Additional terms you may use when researching biomes include:

  • ecology, ecosystem, habitat, environment
  • land, terrestrial
  • abiotic, biotic
  • flora, fauna
  • biodiversity
  • chaparral, shrubland, Mediterranean forest
  • evergreen, coniferous, needleleaf forest
  • broadleaf forest
  • savanna, prairie, plains
  • wetlands, bogs, marsh
  • boreal
  • alpine, mountain
  • polar ice caps

Subject Guide

Kristin Hoeth

Books in our Library

There are many books in our library that will give you helpful background information on biomes.

Cool Tools

As you use resources in this guide, you may find unfamiliar words or ideas relating to biomes. Use the links below if you need help defining a word or changing data from the metric system into standard English.

Google Custom Search

Need additional information? Try this Google Custom Search.