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Table 4 Biome maps of South America

From: Forgotten forests - issues and prospects in biome mapping using Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests as a case study

Biome map Source publication Primary data used 1st tier 2nd tier 3rd tier 4th tier
    Label No. of classes Label No. of classes Label No. of classes Label No. of classes
Latin American Biogeography Scheme
[30] Geography, and secondarily species composition and endemism Dominions 2 Regions 3 Subregions 8 Provinces 55
Americas Basemap
[29] Species composition and endemism Biomes 6 Vegetation zones 22 Vegetation types 73 polygons 597
WWF Ecoregions
[16] Species endemism, but landform used as primary data in areas lacking widely used biogeographic maps e.g. South America Biomes 111 - - Ecoregions 117 polygons 3,311
Land cover map
[17] Remote sensing and elevation Biomes 8 - - Land cover classes 65 polygons 71,153
Ecological Systems Map
[31] Climate, elevation, geology, land cover, and landform data Domains 3 Divisions 22 Ecological systems 604 polygons 285,0002
  1. Comparison of the available biome maps for South America. The hierarchical division of each biome map is shown, followed by the number of headings under each division. The number of headings includes areas within South America only, although some schemes extend to Central and North America. Human made habitats (e.g. urban areas, agricultural land) and barren areas (e.g. water, ice, and snow) were excluded from the comparison where possible. Tiers above continental scale (e.g. realms) are not shown.
  2. 1 Total number of terrestrial biomes in WWF Ecoregion map is 14 but some of the major biomes not found within South America.
  3. 2 Shape layers for the individual ecological systems are not available yet for the whole of South America. The number of polygons given is the current estimate. The currently available map is divided into 604 polygons.