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Biology Lab: Biome Identification

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Lab Exercise

Identifying a local Biome from its characteristics

Goal: To identify Biomes from climate and vegetation characteristics.



  1. Select two locations, one that you can observe directly -- for example, your city or town, and one at least 400 miles from your home.
  2. Identify the climate for each area. From local guides to each area, determine the rainfall per year, rainfall pattern (all in one season? summer drought? spread out through the year), and temperature range.
  3. Identify the dominant vegetation for each area.
  4. Identify the major animal populations you would expect to find.
  5. Identify the biome (savannah? taiga?).
  6. Would you expect migration of plants from one area to the other?
  7. Would you expect migration of animals from one area to the other?

Data Analysis

Use the BiomeViewer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to study your two biomes.


Submit an informal report of your findings. In your conclusions, consider how your biome is changing over time, and predict the likely biome in 20 years time and 50 years time. Do you consider these changes beneficial? If not, how can the changes be mediated to be less damaging?