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Biomes are comprised of the major, regionally distinct biotic communities. They are the largest ecosystem units, delineated at a global scale. Biomes are not distinguished by the taxonomic identities of the organisms they contain, but rather on the basis of the life forms of these organisms, their structure, life history, and responses to environmental change. Although specific plant and animal species differ among continents, the same biomes with similar structure, seasonality, productivity, niches and uses by humans exist in different regions. For example, northern conifer forests exist in North America and Asia, and tropical rain forests are found in Africa, Central and South America, and south and southeast Asia. Biomes are usually associated with their climax community vegetation; however, they encompass successional and subclimax community ...

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