Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth

Biomes and their Soils

  • Bryon W. Bache
  • Ward Chesworth
  • Ward Chesworth
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_64
The word biome was first used by Clements in 1916 (Carpenter, 1939), and is currently used to mean a community of organisms living together and essentially typical of a particular climatic region on land or sea. Specific soil types or associations develop in, and are characteristic of, the terrestrial biomes. In Figure B13 these are classed into the following groups: Tundra, Forest, Grassland, Mediterranean, and Desert biomes. Table B1 provides a summary of salient characteristics. For an excellent recent treatment see Woodward ( 2003). The principal sources used here for information on soils of the major biomes are FAO ( 2001) and Zech and Hintermaier‐Erhard ( 2007).
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Behrensmeyer, A.K., Damuth, J.D., DiMichele, W., Potts, R., Sues, H‐D., and Wing, S.L., 1992. Terrestrial Ecosystems through Time. Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, 568 pp.Google Scholar
  2. BERAC. 2003. An Evaluation of the Biosphere 2 Center as a National Scientific User Facility. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Energy Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee, 19 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Carpenter, J.R., 1939. The biome. Am. Midl. Nat., 21: 75–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Endrödy‐Younga, S, 1988. Evidence for the low‐altitude origin of the Cape Mountain biome derived from the systematic revision of the genus Colophon Gray (Coleoptera, Lucanidae). Ann. S. Afr. Museum, 96: 359–424.Google Scholar
  5. FAO. 2001. Lecture notes on the major soils of the world. World Soil Resources Reports, 94. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 334 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Gorham, E., 1979. Shoot height, weight and standing crop in relation to density of monospecific plant stands. Nature, 279: 148–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Plaziat, J.‐C., Cavagnetto, C., Koeniguer, J.‐C., and Baltzer, F., 2001. History and biogeography of the mangrove ecosystem, based on a critical reassessment of the paleontological record. Wetlands Ecology and Management: 9: 161–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Retallack, G.J., 2001. Soils of the Past: an introduction to paleopedology. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 404 pp.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Woodward, S.L., 2003. Biomes of Earth: Terrestrial, Aquatic, and Human‐Dominated. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 435 pp.Google Scholar
  10. Zech, W., and Hintermaier‐Erhard, G., 2007. Soils of the World. Heidelberg, Berlin: Springer‐Verlag 130 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryon W. Bache
  • Ward Chesworth
  • Ward Chesworth

There are no affiliations available