In this laboratory, you will explore and present information on one of Earth’s terrestrial biomes.
There are two basic categories of communities: terrestrial (land) and aquatic (water). These two basic types of community contain eight smaller units known as biomes.
A biome is a large-scale category containing many communities of a
similar nature whose distribution is largely controlled by climate.
Terrestrial Biomes: tundra, grassland, desert, taiga, temperate forest, tropical forest.
Terrestrial biome distribution is shown above. Aquatic Biomes: marine, freshwater.
- Explore and report on one of the terrestrial biomes shown in the map.
- Develop a virtual poster to be presented to your class in an online virtual presentation session.
This lab should take three to four hours to complete.
Click here to download the lab report. You will be creating and submitting a poster, so there will not be a need to submit your report. Follow the directions on the lab report to gather your information.
Enter The Lab:
Click here to launch the Biomes Lab
- Enter the lab, The World's Biomes, University of California, Berkeley Museum of Paleontology.
Read about the general topic of biomes, then click a link and learn
more about a particular terrestrial biome (such as desert, grassland,
etc.) to begin your research for this project.
- Visit a number of websites (a few starters are listed below) that deal with the topic of biomes. Gather information and images to prepare a virtual poster session. Be sure to cite your sources!
- In your poster session presentation, you will
need to detail the creatures that live in the biome you have chosen,
both plants and animals. Also, focus on the
environmental conditions that constrain distribution of your biome (for
example, hot, dry deserts are limited in their distribution by…)
NASA: Mission Biomes
Kids Do Ecology: World Biomes
Conduct a keyword search to find websites.
To begin a keyword search, start by searching broad terms such as
biome, terrestrial, savanna, tundra, tropical forest, or desert. The resulting list of websites can give you a lot of information, but how do you know if it is reliable? There are a few basic guidelines that can help you when you open a website and try to determine its reliability.
Always consider a site's:
- Objectivity: Excessive expressions of emotion, opinions, and stereotyping are tip-offs that the information on a site may be biased.
- Ownership and contributors: Go to the Home or About page of the website and find out who sponsors and writes for the site. Look for contributors who have reliable credentials, such as "Harvey Jones, Professor, University of Wisconsin—Madison."
- Writing style and mechanics: Check the grammar, spelling, and writing style on the site. Errors and awkwardness are signs of a nonprofessional website.
- Currency: Look for publication or copyright dates associated with the site; the more current the better.
- Links: What links does the site contain? A reliable website will offer links to other reliable websites, not to "junk" sites.
Keyword Search: biome, terrestrial biome, savanna, tundra, tropical forest, desert
Submitting Your Work:
When you have completed the lab, submit your poster.