Terrestrial Ecosystem

A community of living organisms of a particular region living in conjunction with non-living components is called an ecosystem. An ecosystem can be as small as an oasis in a desert, or as big as an ocean.

What is a Terrestrial Ecosystem?

The type of ecosystems which are predominantly found on land are called the terrestrial ecosystems. Terrestrial ecosystems cover approximately 140 to 150 million km2, which is about 25 to 30 percent of the total earth surface area.

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Types Of Terrestrial Ecosystems

There are different types of terrestrial ecosystems, which are widely distributed around the geological zones. They include:


These types of ecosystems include both temperate deciduous forest, plantation forests and tropical rain forests. They serve as a natural habitat for a vast range of living species and also comprise the highest species diversity. Forests cover nearly 30 to 35 million square kilometres of the earth’s surface and more than 300 million species of plants and animals live in forests.

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Grasslands are the most dominant type of vegetation and these types of environments occur naturally in several parts of the world. These types of terrestrial ecosystems serve as a home for a wide diversity of animal species, such as elephants, giraffes, hyenas, jackrabbits, lions, rhinos, warthogs and zebras. Other types of grasslands include|:

  1. Tropical Grasslands
  2. Temperate Grasslands


Tundra denotes polar regions, which are characterized by harsh environmental conditions similar to deserts and is usually windswept, snow-covered and treeless. Compared to deserts, this type of ecosystem is completely filled with frozen soil throughout the year and in summer, the snow melts and shallow ponds are produced. This gives rise to lichens and a few plants with small and colorful flowers.


Desert plants

The Desert is a barren region of the landscape, which has extremely high or low temperatures and has scarce vegetation. Depending on the climate and temperature, deserts can be classified into hot deserts and cold deserts. There are many lives that are well-adapted to life in the desert. Animals include – Camels, foxes, hyenas, jackals, scorpions, a few varieties of snakes and lizards. The common plants are acacia, cactus and date palms.

Sahara is an example of a hot desert, which is categorized by high temperatures associated with little rainfall and complicated life for both plants and animals.

Ladakh is an example of a cold desert, which is found on the eastern side of Jammu and Kashmir near the Great Himalayas.

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This article concludes an introduction to Terrestrial Ecosystems. To know more about the Terrestrial Ecosystem, their types and other related topics and important questions, keep visiting our website at BYJU’S Biology.

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