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Difference between Biome and Ecosystem

Biome and ecosystem are two different ecological concepts. Although they are closely related to each other, they are different from each other. Let us see how they differ from each other!


Biome refers to a large geographical area with similar plants, animals, organisms etc., adapted to the climate and terrain of that area. It is generally named after the predominant vegetation found in it, e.g. tropical rainforests, mid-latitude deciduous forest, coniferous forests etc.

Each biome has a distinct climate that decides the types of plants and animals found in that biome. So, different biomes have different types of species of plants and animals. Species of one biome may not survive the climate of other biomes. Biomes located at lower latitudes tend to be warmer and wetter than those located at higher latitudes.

A biome may have many ecosystems with similar climatic conditions, e.g. an aquatic biome may contain ecosystems like coral reefs, kelp forests etc. A biome can be terrestrial (land-based) and aquatic (water-based). Some of the terrestrial biomes are desert, tundra, rain forest, coniferous forest, temperate deciduous forest etc. Similarly, some of the aquatic biomes include lotic freshwater, lentic freshwater, Open Ocean, estuary, gulf, continental shelf water etc.


An ecosystem is a part of a biome. It refers to the interaction between abiotic (non-living) and biotic (living) components in a given area. The biotic factors include plants, animals, organisms etc., and abiotic factors include soil, water, sunlight, temperature, weather, climate etc. The biotic components interact among themselves through processes like predation, competition, parasitism, symbiosis etc., and with their abiotic components. The interaction between living species and their environment facilitates and maintains the flow of matter and energy in an ecosystem.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between biome and ecosystem are as follows:

Biome Ecosystem
It is a large area of land with distinct climate and plant and animal species. It is the interaction of abiotic and biotic components between each other in a given area.
It is a large geographical area. It is a small geographical area.
It is greatly influenced by climatic factors such as snow, ice, rainfall, temperature etc. It is not much influenced by the climatic factors like ice, snowfall, temperature etc.
It is a larger category of ecological units. It contains multiple ecosystems within it. It is a part of biome made of biotic and abiotic factors.
As a biome is a collection of species it has a great diversity of plant and animal species. An ecosystem has a less diversity of plants and animals species than that of a biome as it is smaller in size.
Some common examples of biomes include desert, tundra, grasslands, and tropical rain forests. Some common examples include coral reefs, ponds, Gulf of Mexico etc.
Latitude has a great influence on a biome. An ecosystem is not affected by latitude.
All the animals of a biome may not interact with each other. All the animals and organisms of an ecosystem interact with each other.
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