Around 21% of the Earth’s surface is exposed land which can be split into a range of different environments that vary due to their climatic differences. In many cases, the on land environment can be very hospitable and accommodate a wide variety of animals, plants and other organisms.
In environments where rain is plentiful, forests dominate the landscape and can support highly diverse plant and animal communities. In more extreme land environments of the world, where rain is limited such as alpine, polar and desert regions, life is much harder and only the toughest organisms are able to survive and successfully persist over time.
A forest, also often known as the woods or bush, is an ecosystem characterized by large numbers of tall plants. Forests are extremely complex ecosystems due to a huge number of variables, including both living things and environmental factors.
A wetland is an ecosystem where the ground surface is saturated or flooded with water either permanently or temporarily. Wetlands are hugely important ecosystems but are also heavily threatened due to human activities.
Deserts are the driest ecosystems on Earth. They cover around one third of the Earth’s land and are found in all seven continents. Desert ecosystems are especially common in Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Antarctica.
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