Amazônia, or "The Amazon," is a vast and awe-inspiring region of South America. Often called the "lungs of the Earth," this immense lush green forest, stretching across nine countries, is home to unparalleled plant and animal life, making it one of the Earth's most biodiverse ecosystems. Comprising the Amazon rainforest, the Amazon biome, the Amazon basin, and the Amazon River, Amazônia plays a crucial role in regulating the planet's climate and producing oxygen.
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Biome / Ecosystem
Resting amidst the rugged slopes on both flanks of the Andes Mountains in southern South America, the Andean Patagonian Forest, known as Bosque Andino Patagónico, serves as a testament to the remarkable beauty and ecological abundance present in this distinctive temperate woodland. Spanning areas in southern Chile and Argentina, it claims the title of the southernmost forest on our planet.
The Atacama Desert region, stretching over a formidable 1,600 km along the Pacific coast of Chile, is not merely a geographical marvel but an intricate mosaic of history, ecology, and adaptation. Beyond its arid expanses lies the Atacama Desert Ecoregion—an ecological classification that extends its influence across adjacent areas.
The Atlantic Forest, known as Mata Atlântica, is a verdant treasure trove of biodiversity stretching along Brazil's eastern and southeastern coast, extending into Argentina and Paraguay. This sprawling natural region, although reduced from its original expanse, remains one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, second only to the Amazon Rainforest.
The Caatinga is a vast and unique semiarid biome that covers northeast Brazil and is home to various ecosystems, making it the largest dry forest region in South America. This region is characterized by its arid, thorny, and seasonal vegetation, which provides habitats for more than 2,000 species. Recognized as a biodiversity hotspot, the Caatinga faces significant threats, primarily due to land conversion for agriculture and cattle ranching.
The Cerrado, South America's largest savanna region and the most extensive ecoregion in the Americas unfolds across central Brazil, extending its natural wonders into northeastern Paraguay and eastern Bolivia. Boasting unparalleled biological richness, this savanna is a global treasure, home to 5% of the planet's animals and plants, harboring an extraordinary menagerie of life.
The Gran Chaco, or simply Chaco, is a large and intriguing region in eastern Bolivia, western Paraguay, northern Argentina, and a small section of Brazil. It is an alluvial plain with diverse ecosystems, including South America's second-largest forest after the Amazon. There are two main ecoregions, the Humid Chaco and the Dry Chaco, which differ in climate, vegetation, and ecology.
Stretching across the expansive landscapes east of the Andes Mountains in northwestern South America, the Llanos, also known as Los Llanos, emerges as a vast tropical grassland plain of remarkable ecological diversity. Nestled within the borders of Colombia and Venezuela, this ecoregion of flooded grasslands and savannas paints a vivid portrait of natural grandeur.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System: Exploring the Enchanting Underwater Ecosystem The Editor Fri, 01/12/2024 - 17:41
Nestled within the turquoise embrace of the Caribbean Sea lies a natural wonder of unparalleled beauty and ecological significance – the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, often called the Great Mayan Reef. This marine jewel stands as the most extensive barrier reef system in the Western Hemisphere, stretching from Isla Contoy at the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula south to Belize, Guatemala, and the Bay Islands of Honduras.
The Pampas, a vast and fertile lowland plain region in South America, unfolds like a natural canvas from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes Mountains. This flat, fertile grassland region is of ecological diversity and cultural significance. It can be divided into three distinct ecoregions: the Uruguayan Savanna, the Humid Pampas and the Semiarid Pampas.
The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland, predominantly situated in the Center-West Region of Brazil. This vast seasonal floodplain, however, also stretches into northeastern Paraguay and southeastern Bolivia, creating a stunning ecological masterpiece. Its diverse landscapes and vibrant ecosystems are genuinely captivating.
The Páramo, or Andean Moorland, is a distinctive high-mountain biome in the Neotropical region, specifically in the upper Andes of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. This grassland ecosystem, situated above the timberline but below the permanent snowline, is renowned for its unique flora and fauna, making it an essential component of the region's biodiversity.
The Magellanic Steppe is a distinctive biome within the broader Patagonian Desert, characterized by its unique vegetation and landscape features. It is named after the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who navigated the region during the early 16th century. This steppe is a significant component of the arid Patagonian ecosystem, stretching across southern Argentina and Chile.
The Peruvian Amazon, also known as La Selva, is a vast region running from the Andes to the borders with neighboring countries. La Selva is famous for its extraordinary biodiversity, with Peru boasting the world's highest number of bird species and the third-largest number of mammals. In addition to its natural wonders, the rainforest is rich in cultural diversity, and it is home to indigenous peoples and small cities.
The Puna, a high-elevation grassland region in the Central Andes, spans northern Peru, western Bolivia, and northern Chile and Argentina. It encompasses diverse sub-ecoregions, including the Wet Puna, the Central Andean Puna, and the Dry Puna along the Cordillera Occidental. This high-elevation grassland region faces challenges such as climate change and habitat loss, necessitating conservation efforts for its unique biodiversity.
The Sonoran Desert, or Desierto de Altar, is a vast, arid region recognized as Mexico's hottest desert. Extending across northwestern Mexico, including Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur, and reaching into southwestern Arizona and southeastern California in the United States, the Sonoran Desert captivates with its expansive and diverse landscape.
The Yungas, an Aymara term meaning "Warm Lands," unveils a remarkable subtropical forest belt along the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains, spanning Peru, Bolivia, and northern Argentina. This unique natural region is a transitional zone, linking the Andean highlands to the lush eastern forests, creating a haven for biodiversity amidst its humid, subtropical climate.
The Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena Hotspot, spanning from Panama to Peru, is a biodiverse region threatened by urbanization, hunting, and deforestation. With unique ecosystems and species, including 11,000 plants and nearly 900 birds, urgent conservation efforts are needed to protect this hotspot from further decline and preserve its exceptional biodiversity.