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Earth and Space > Ecosystems (Biomes)

The following table shows a variety of habitats where various plants and animals may live. Ecosystems can be small-scale, covering a small area (such as a wood) or large-scale covering a large area (such as as Taiga which stretches across areas of Canada, Europe and Asia). Large-scale ecosystems are called biomes.

Habitat Precipitation Temperature Soil Plants Animals
Desert Almost none hot or cold poor sparse - succulents (like cactus), sage brush sparse - insects, arachnids, reptiles and birds (often nocturnal)
Chaparral (scrub) dry summer, rainy winter hot summer, cool winter poor shrubs, some woodland (like scrub oak) drought and fire-adapted animals
Tundra dry cold permafrost (frozen soil) lichens and mosses migrating animals
Taiga (coniferous forest) adequate cool year-round poor, rocky soil conifers many mammals, birds, insects, arachnids, etc.
Temperate Deciduous Forest adequate cool season and warm season fertile soil deciduous trees many mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, arachnids, etc.
Grassland wet season, dry season warm to hot (often with a cold season) fertile soil grasses (few or no trees) many mammals, birds, insects, arachnids, etc.
Tropical rain forest very wet always warm poor, thin soil many plants many animals
Swamp very wet warm nutrient-rich soil many plants many animals
Cave (terrestrial) variable cool (and dark) rocks almost no plants few animals