Risser, Paul G. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Last reviewed:October 2019
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A major community of plants and animals having similar life forms or morphological features and existing under similar environmental conditions. A biome (see illustration) is a complex biotic community covering a large geographic area and characterized by the distinctive life forms of important climax (stable and late-successional) species. In fact, a biome, which may be used at the scale of entire continents, is the largest useful biological community unit. An equivalent term for biome is major life zone; if only plants are considered, the term used often is formation. See also: Ecological communities; Ecology; Environment; Life zones
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