Rainforest Rainforest is found in areas of equatorial climate, characterized by regular and very high precipitation and very low thermal amplitude.
Rainforest Rainforest is characterized by a very dense arboreal vegetation because of the high humidity. These trees may reach 50 m tall.
Rainforest Rainforest contains 70% of the world’s biodiversity. There are 200 especies of trees per hectare roughly.
Rainforest However, there are no more than one or two individuals of the same species per hectare. This is the reason why economical exploitation of rainforest is so difficult.
Rainforest Although rainforest is a very especies-rich biome, its soil is very poor. Actually the huge quantity of decaying plants is the reason why the vegetation is so exuberant. The deforestation of these areas in order to grow crops is consequently useless.
Rainforest Trees have roots near the surface (buttress roots) as there are not many nutrients below the ground.
Rainforest Orchids Mosses Lianas Rainforest supports a rich flora of epiphytes (plants that grow upon another plant), including orchids, mosses, lianas and lichens, who live attached to the branches of trees. They obtain moisture and nutrients from the air and rain.
Rainforest Canopy is the upper layer of rainforest. Many rainforest animals have evolved to live solely in the canopy, and never touch the ground.
Rainforest Bonobo Toucan Chimpanzee Orang-utan Flying fox Gibbon Sloth Most of rainforest animals are frugivores (fruit eaters) and arboreal: primates (chimpanzee, gibbon, bonobo, orang-utan, etc.), sloths, flying fox, toucans…
Rainforest Ocelot Jaguar Leopard Black panther (melanistic leopard) Impala carcass Civet Predator are small and able to climb trees: civet, ocelot, jaguar and leopard. Their eyes are adapted to see during the night. This is the reason why their pupils sometimes appear to glow.
Rainforest Leopards often stash their recent kills high up in a tree. They have been observed hauling carcasses estimated to weigh up to 125 kg, 3 times the weight of the leopard, up to 5 m into trees.
Rainforest Chameleon Stick Gecko insect Some rainforest animals are able to change their skin colors in order to blend it with their surroundings, as an effective form of camouglage. Examples include chameleons, geckos, stick insects…
Savanna Savanna is found in tropical areas characterized by a dry season and very low thermal amplitude.
Savanna A savanna is characterized by the trees widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasslands and shrublands.
Savanna Thornbush savanna Shrub Tree There are different types of savanna depending on the density of trees and shrubs: shrub savanna, thornbush savanna, tree savanna…
Savanna Savanna trees are drought-tolerant. For example, baobabs store water inside the swollen trunk (up to 120,000 litres to endure the harsh drought conditions.
Savanna Gallery forests form as corridors along rivers into savanna. The river provides humidity resulting in a kind of microclimate. As a result, these forests are able to exist where the surrounding landscape wouldn’t support this vegetation.
Savanna Giraffe Zebras Elephant Gazelle Impala Gnu Savanna is the animal-biodiversity richest biome in the world. There are a lot of ruminants mammals: zebras, elephants, giraffes or antilopes (gnus, gazelles, impalas…).
Savanna Termite mound Beetle Termites Detritivores insects play a very important role: beetles break down animal debris an termites, which build large nests called termite mounds, feed on dead plant material.
Savanna Cheetahs Crocodile Lion Ruminants mammals need to make an annual migration to new pastures because of the dry season. When they are crossing the rivers, many are eaten by predators such as crocodiles, lions or cheetahs, which reach speeds of 20 kmh.
Savanna Nile crocodile is an agile and rapid hunter.
Savanna Competition for preys is often intense.
Desert Deserts are found in tropical areas characterized by a very low precipitation and, usually, high temperature. Evaporation is higher than precipitation.
Desert Cactus Plants are xerophytes: they have adaptations that enable them to survive in hot and dry environments. For example, cacti store water in their bodies and have spines which not only defend the cactus against herbivores but also provide shade.
Desert Kangaroo rat Oryx Rabbit Deserts support very little life. Some herbivore fauna includes antilopes (oryx) and rodents (rabbits, kangaroo rats, etc.). They usually remain hidden during daylight hours to control body temperature or to limit moisture needs.
Desert Kangaroo rats have special adaptations to live in arid conditions: they live in deep burrows that shelter them from the worst of the desert heat and their kidneys are at least four times more efficient at retaining water than those of humans.
Desert Gila Leopard monster Fennec fox Jackal Horned viper Desert predators include the fennec fox and the jackal (leopards and lions have disappeared because of the mankind). There are also a lot of poisonous reptiles: horned viper, Gila monster…
Desert Striped hyena Vultures Some desert carnivore are scavangers, such as the striped hyena and the vultures. The striped hyena is primarily a scavenger, though it will occasionally attack any defenceless animal it can overcome.
Schlerophyll forest Schlerophyll or mediterranean forest is found in areas with a mediterranean climate, characterized by a dry season in summer.
Schlerophyll forest Leathery leaves Trees are adapted to high insolation and summer drought (xerophytes): wide crown to provide shade; leathery leaves to decrease transpiration; deep roots to take the most of soil moisture…
Schlerophyll forest Holm Oak Cork Eucalyptus Vegetal species include Cork Oak, which has a thick bark to shelter it from the summer fires, and Holm Oak, which is adapted to cold winters. The most common tree in Australia is Eucalyptus.
Schlerophyll forest The trees are widely spaced, so they allow sufficient light to reach the ground. It results in a rich undergrowth.
Schlerophyll forest Maquis Garriga The forest degradation results in a drought-tolerant and thick shrubland called maquis. When the shrubland is not so thick, it is called garriga..
Schlerophyll forest Cork (sacaMushrooms del corcho) Pigs Wild game Cork Bull Dehesa is a type of wooded pastureland found in the Iberian peninsula, used for the grazing of livestock (bulls, pigs) and the obtention of forest products such as cork, wild game, mushrooms, and firewood.
Schlerophyll forest LeastSquirrel Roe Lynx Deer EuropeanRed Fox WildEagle Weasel Badger Rabbit Boar This region is home to herbivores mammals, such as Roe Deer, rabbit and squirrel, and omnivores such as wild boar or European Badger. Predators include Red Fox, Lynx, Least Weasel and eagle.
Schlerophyll forest Eagles have extremely keen eyesight which enables them to spot potential prey from a very long distance. Eagles are able to carry very large preys.
Schlerophyll forest Kangaroo Platypus Koala Australia isolation has allowed the conservation of a lot of endemisms, organisms unique to a defined geographic location: platypus, marsupials (koala and kangaroo), etc.
Temperate forest Temperate forest is found in temperate climates characterized by high and regular precipitation, such as the humid subtropical climate or the oceanic climate.
Temperate forest English Oak Undergrowth English Oak is a large deciduous tree (lose their leaves in winter). The wood is very hard and grow very slowly (200 years). The undergrowth is formed by mosses and ferns.
Temperate forest Brown Hare bear Beaver Marten Temperate forest fauna is similar to schlerophyll forest fauna, but more diverse because of the high humidity. Animals are well adapted to cold winters: bigger size (hare), thick furs (beaver, marten), hibernation (brown bear), etc.
Steppe Steppes are located in the interior of continents. They are characterized by low precipitation and very high thermal amplitude because of the remoteness from the sea.
Steppe Steppe is characterized by large grasslands and shrublands. There are different types of savanna depending on the density of trees and shrubs: wooded steppe, shrub steppe, thornbush steppe…
Steppe Steppes and savannas are both grasslands with no trees. Both are arid, but steppes are located in temperate climates and savannas are located in tropical climates.
Steppe Rhea Bison Guanaco Cougar Coyote Stag Nowadays steppe fauna is not very diverse because of agriculture and animal husbandry. It includes bison, guanaco, rhea, cougar, coyote, stag…
Steppe This is an example of cougar hunting a stag.
Boreal forest Boreal forest or taiga is located in subpolar areas characterized by high precipitation and cold winters.
Boreal forest Taiga is a biome characterized by coniferous forests. It is the worlds largest terrestrial biome (28% of the wordl) and covers most of Canada and Alaska, most of Scandinavian peninsula, much of Russia (especially Siberia) and northern Japan.
Boreal forest Pine Needle pine NeedleFir fir Conifers (pines, firs, etc.) have many winter time adaptations: their narrow conical shape help them shed snow; their wood is soft to resist the temperature changes; their needle leaves are able to resist frosts...
Boreal forest Conifers roots are not very deep to avoid the permafrost, soil below the freezing point of water (0 °C) for years. Thickness of the active layer varies by year and location, but is 0.6–4 m thick.
Boreal forest Permafrost contains a huge quantity of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
Boreal forest Arctic hare Muskrat Moose Dormhouse Lemming Reindeer Cones The taiga is home to large herbivorous mammals, such as the moose, the reindeer and the arctic hare which eat lichens, the dormouse and the lemming, which eat cones, and the muskrat, that inhabits wetlands (marshlands, rivers, lakes or ponds).
Boreal forest Dormice are particularly known for their long periods of hibernation. They can hibernate six months or even longer, sometimes waking for brief periods to eat food they had previously stored nearby.
Boreal forest Kodiak bear hunted Wolf SiberianOtter Kodiak Grizzly tiger Predators include wolves, which still exist in this biome, bears such as the koadiak and the grizzly, the otter, whose fur is extremely valuable, and the siberian tiger.
Boreal forest The siberian tiger is the largest living felid, attaining 120 cm tall, 370 cm long and 320 kg.
Tundra Tundra is located in circumpolar regions characterized by very cold temperatures: average monthly temperature is always lower than 10 ºC.
Tundra Tundra in summer Lichens The layer of soil free of permafrost is too thin to allow the existence of trees, as the roots cannot get bellow it. As a result, flora includes only mosses and lichens.
Tundra Muskox These plants grow very slowly because of the harsh climatic conditions (they often take several years to grow) and consequently the herbivores such as the lemming, the moose and the muskox must periodically migrate.
Tundra Mosquito Ponds in the tundra Water lillies Every year summer leads to life explosion: the meltwater results in the formation of a lot of ponds and lakes. These bodies of water are home to marsh plants such as the water lillies, which atract a lot of mosquitoes.
Tundra Gooses flying Swan Migration of swans In spring, migratory birds such as the swan and the goose fly north long distances to breed in the tundra summer. The primary motivations are food and longer days, which provide extended time for breeding birds to feed their young.
Tundra Arctic fox inin winter Arctic fox summer Stoat Tundra predators, such as the stoat and the arctic fox, have a thick white fur to blend into their environment.
Tundra Elephantbear seal Polar Seal Walrus In areas located at latitudes higher than 70º North, vegetation completely disappears because of the extremely harsh conditions. However, these regions are home to polar bears, which hunt aquatic mammals such as seals or walruses.
Tundra Krill These aquatic mammals, which are shielded from extreme cold by their blubber, eat krill, the name given to a group of tiny crustaceans found in the oceans.
Tundra The polar bear is the largest terrestrial carnivore. Adult males weigh 600 kg.
Mangrove Mangroves are located in tropical coastal areas characterised by a warm and rainy climate, such as the equatorial climate or the monsoon climate.
Mangrove Mangroves are found in tropical tidal areas. Areas where mangroves or mangals occur include estuaries and river deltas, such as the Ganges Delta.
Mangrove Mangroves or mangals are various kinds of trees found in this biome. They have a lot of adaptations to survive in inundated areas.
Mangrove Inundated mangrove Mangrove leaf Mangroves are halophyles (organisms that live in environments with very high concentrations of salt). For example, their roots filter the salt and their leaves are able to secrete salt.leaf
Mangrove Pneumatophoresinin a high tide Pneumatophores the low Stilt roots in the Stilt roots The aerial roots are an adaptation to these harsh conditions: stilt roots increase height and maintain mechanical stability and pneumatophores enable plants to breathe air in habitats covered by water.
Mangrove Mangroves are an excellent natural barrier to hurricanes and tsunamis.
Mangrove Ibis Macaque Fiddler Frog Long-nosed monkey crab Most of mangrove animals are arboreal, such as primates (macaques, long-nosed monkey…) and birds (ibis), or amphibians such as the crustaceans (fiddler crab), frogs or some fishes.
Mangrove Mudskipper on inmangrove Mudskipper a the water Mudkipper on the mud The mudskipper is an amphibian fish that can breathe through their skin and use their fins to walk on land in a series of skips. These fishes can see all around itself with their bulging eyes.
Mangrove Bengal tiger White cat Water buffalo Fishing Predators include felids such as the Bengal tiger and the fishing cat, which are skilled swimmers. A bengal tiger can kill 30 water buffalos every year.
Mangrove The average weight of Bengal tiger males is 221.2 kg. They are very dangerous.
Mangrove CrocodileTortue marin VaranPython malais There are a lot of aquatic reptiles, such as the turtle, the water monitor, the python (a constrictor snake 7 m long) and the saltwater crocodile
Mangrove Constriction is a method used by various snake species such as pythons to kill their prey.
Mangrove An adult male saltwater crocodiles weight is 1,300 kg and length is 6 metres.
Altitude: 1 560 mMountain Latitude: 46 ºN Average temperature: 2,8 ºC Annual precipitation: 999 mm 80 160 70 140 60 120 50 100 Precipitation (mm) 40 80 Temperature 30 60 20 40 10 20 0 0 J F M A M J J A S O N D -10 -20 -20 -40 The mountain forest is located in areas at high altitude (roughly 2 000 m in middle latitudes). Is is often characterised by high precipitation and low temperature.
Mountain 0 ºC 5 ºC 10 ºC 10 ºC 20 ºC The relief is a key factor which will determine the vegetal distribution of these areas because of the föhn wind.
Mountain N Pyrenees S 2 000 m ALPINE 1 000 m MOUNTAIN BASAL Holm Oak English Oak Common Beech Conifer Meadow The vegetation in mountain areas is distributed in levels according to the latitude. A cliserie is a graphical representation of these levels.
Mountain N Sierra Nevada S 2 000 m ALPINE 1 000 m MOUNTAIN BASAL Maquis Holm Oak English Oak Meadow The vegetation in mountain areas is distributed in levels according to the latitude. A cliserie is a graphical representation of these levels.
Mountain N Cantabrian mountains S 2 000 m ALPINE 1 000 m MOUNTAIN BASAL Holm Oak English Oak Common Beech Meadow The vegetation in mountain areas is distributed in levels according to the latitude. A cliserie is a graphical representation of these levels.
Macaronesia Macaronesia is a group of archipels in the North Atlantic Ocean: Azores, Madeira, Savage Islands, Canary Islands and Cape Verde.
Macaronesia The vegetation of Macaronesia is considered an example of relict: relict is an organism that at an earlier time was abundant in a large area but now occurs at only one or a few small areas.
Macaronesia N Teide S 2 000 m SUPRACANARY 1 000 m CANARY Trade winds 750 m THERMOCANARY 500 m INTERMEDIATE BASAL Cardón Juniper Laurel forest Canary Pine Bushes The vegetation of Macaronesia is extremely affected by the altitude and the trade winds. It results in the formation of microclimates.