- The biggest overall biome on earth is the ocean.
- The largest land biome is the Taiga boreal forest. It’s full of plant and animal life with an extremely cold winter.
- Biomes vary across the world and the different types include aquatic, grassland, forest, desert, and arctic tundra biomes.
When exploring our diverse and fascinating planet, you might stumble across the concept of biomes. But what is the biggest one?
The world’s biggest biome is the ocean. But the biggest land biome is the Taiga or boreal forest. The Taiga experiences cold weather, cold winters, and plenty of animal and plant life. It’s full of evergreen trees and spans across 11.5% of the earth’s land area.
In this guide, we will go into more detail about biomes and what the biggest one is. Expect to learn more about its characteristics. We also offer some interesting facts about this massive region. So, let's embark on this journey to better understand Earth's largest biome and the wonders it beholds.
What Is The Biggest Biome?
Biomes are large areas on Earth characterized by specific vegetation, wildlife, and climate conditions. The two biggest biomes are the ocean and the Taiga.
The ocean is the obvious answer for the biggest general biome. The Taiga is a specific forest and currently sits as the number one largest biome on land when excluding bodies of water. Let’s review both in more detail below.
The ocean biome is the largest on Earth. It covers more than 70% of the Earth's surface. The ocean is home to diverse ecosystems, rich biodiversity, and a wide range of plant and animal species.
The ocean biome is home to a vast array of plants and animals, and it is estimated that we have only explored about 5% of its depths.
Life in the ocean is diverse. It contains the smallest creatures, like plankton, to the largest animals, like whales. The ocean is also home to a variety of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other marine organisms.
These organisms have adapted to living in the ocean, and some have unique features like bioluminescence, which allows them to produce light. The ocean biome is also important for regulating the Earth's climate.
The ocean absorbs a significant amount of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities, which helps to reduce the impact of climate change. The ocean also plays a critical role in the water cycle, as it is the source of most of the world's rainfall.
The Taiga biome, also known as the boreal forest, is the largest land-based biome. It stretches across the northern parts of North America, Europe, and Asia and is characterized by cold climates, coniferous forests, and a variety of plant and animal species specially adapted to harsh conditions.
The vastness of the taiga provides critical habitat for many grazing animals, birds, and plant species. Because boreal forests like this are so vast, they can be broken into a northern and southern regions.
The southern boreal forests have coniferous trees, such as spruce, pine, and fir. They dominate the landscape and provide a habitat for a wide range of animals. The southern region is known as the closed canopy forest region.
Location of the Biggest Biome
The Taiga biome is found primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, stretching across much of Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia, and Russia. The Taiga covers an area of approximately 11 million square kilometers, making it the largest forested area in the world.
The Taiga also covers significant portions of Canada and Alaska, where it is known as the North American Boreal Forest. Because of the biome’s location, the three zones of the Taiga include the forest-tundra, closed canopy forest, and lichen woodland.
Climate of the Biggest Biome
The Taiga experiences long, cold winters and short, mild summers. Average temperatures in the winter months range from -20°C to -30°C. Summer temperatures can reach as high as 20°C.
The Taiga also receives moderate to high levels of precipitation, with an average annual rainfall of around 400-900mm. The climate of the Taiga is largely influenced by its location in the Northern Hemisphere.
The region receives less direct sunlight than other parts of the world, leading to colder temperatures and shorter growing seasons. In addition, the Taiga is also affected by the polar jet stream, which brings cold air from the Arctic down into the region.
Types of Biomes
There are five major biomes worth mentioning. This includes the following.
The aquatic biome is the largest biome on earth and covers around 70% of the planet's surface. It can be divided into two main categories: freshwater and marine. Freshwater biomes include rivers, lakes, ponds, and wetlands, while marine biomes include oceans, estuaries, and coral reefs.
The grassland biome is characterized by its open grassy plains and is home to a variety of animals like zebras, giraffes, and antelopes. The grassland biome can be further divided into tropical and temperate grasslands.
The forest biome is home to a variety of trees and animals, such as bears, deer, and birds. Forests can be divided into three main categories: tropical rainforest, temperate forest, and boreal forest.
The desert biome is characterized by its arid and dry conditions, with little precipitation and extreme temperatures. Despite these harsh conditions, the desert is home to a variety of animals like snakes, lizards, and camels.
The arctic tundra biome is characterized by its cold and harsh conditions, with freezing temperatures and little vegetation. Despite this, the tundra is home to a variety of animals such as polar bears, wolves, and arctic foxes.
Each biome has unique characteristics and plays an important role in the earth's ecosystem. Understanding the different types of biomes can help us appreciate the diversity of life on earth and the importance of protecting these fragile ecosystems.
About THE AUTHOR
James Parker has a Masters degree in Sustainability with a focus on land management, permaculture and regenerative agriculture. He also has experience managing sustainability projects, and is passionate about conservation and sustainability.Read More About James Parker