2.4 Biomes, Zonation and Succession

The local climate determines the type of community that exists in an area. The type of community is referred to as a biome and examples include tropical rainforests, tundra and savanna.

Bare land, such as that produced by the new formation of islands, or land destroyed by lava, will naturally go through a series of changes until it reaches a stable stage known as a climax community. This process is known as succession.

Image credit: Navarras (CC0)


1Climate and the tri-cellular model
3Climate change and biome shift
5Primary succession
6Humans and succession: Secondary succession and plagioclimaxes
Chapter Workbook
Vocabulary Sheet

  • Analyse climate data for a range of locations. Use the Whittaker biome diagram to “predict” the biome of the location and compare with the known biome.

Full PSOW here.

Essay Task

Surtsey is a young volcanic island formed between 1963 and 1967. Read the ‘Results’ section (page 5525) of this article, and use this information, as well as further research, to answer the question below.

“Explain the ecological changes that have occured on Surtsey since its formation in the late 1960s. Include justified predictions about its future development.” [9 marks]

View essay markbands

The essay should marked using the Paper 2, Section B essay markbands.

PDF Version

Google Docs Version

Google Docs 2.4 essay

Open the link and make a copy to your own drive. The doc can easily be shared as an “Assignment” on Google Classroom.

A markbands rubric designed for Google Classroom is available here.