Forested biomes

1. Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

2. Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests

3. Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests

4. Temperate broadleaf and mixed

5. Temperate conifer forests

6. Boreal forests or taiga

14. Mangroves

Nonforested biomes

7. Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

8. Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

9. Flooded Grasslands and Savannas

10. Montane grasslands and shrublands

11. Tundra

12. Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub

13. Deserts and xeric shrublands


A biome is a community of plants and animals living together in a certain kind of climate.

There are 14 terrestrial biomes. Seven are forested and 7 are not forested. Plant communities in the same biome can appear quite similar in structure but contain very different sets of species. To better illustrate, click on the feature that depicts the eight biogeographic realms. An ecoregion in eastern Peru (Neotropical realm) could look very similar to one in lowland Borneo (Indo-Malayan realm), but the plants and animals would be different.



This dataset is based on recent advances in biogeography - the science concerning the distribution of plants and animals. The original ecoregions dataset has been widely used since its introduction in 2001, underpinning the most recent analyses of the effects of global climate change on nature by ecologists to the distribution of the world's beetles to modern conservation planning.

The 846 terrestrial ecoregions are grouped into 14 biomes and 8 realms. Six of these biomes are forest biomes and remaining eight are non-forest biomes. For the forest biomes, the geographic boundaries of the ecoregions (Dinerstein et al., 2017) and protected areas (UNEP-WCMC 2016) were intersected with the Global Forest Change data (Hansen et al. 2013) for the years 2000 to 2015, to calculate percent of habitat in protected areas and percent of remaining habitat outside protected areas. Likewise, the boundaries of the non-forest ecoregions and protected areas (UNEP-WCMC 2016) were intersected with Anthropogenic Biomes data (Anthromes v2) for the year 2000 (Ellis et al., 2010) to identify remaining habitats inside and outside the protected areas. Each ecoregion has a unique ID, area (sq. degrees), and NNH (Nature Needs Half) categories 1-4. NNH categories are based on percent of habitat in protected areas and percent of remaining habitat outside protected areas.

Spatial resolution

Global coverage

500 meter spatial resolution

Temporal resolution

Reference epochs: 2017