Vegetation zones refer to the plant life present in different areas given their climatic variations. Generally, vegetation zones are divided into eight distinct categories. These are:
- Tundra vegetation is characterized by low-lying shrubs, mosses and lichens.
- Taiga vegetation is mainly coniferous forest.
Temperate Deciduous Forests (Temperate Broadleaf Forests)
- Temperate Deciduous Forests are characterized by broadleaf trees, such as oaks, maples and elms.
Temperate Grasslands (North American Prairies)
- Temperate Grasslands are characterized by grasses, as well as other herbaceous plants.
- Mediterranean Vegetation includes landscapes such as the chaparral of California, the maquis of the Mediterranean basin and the fynbos of South Africa.
- Deserts are characterized by little to no vegetation.
- Tropical Rainforests are characterized by lush vegetation, including tall trees, shrubs and ferns.
- Savannas are characterized by grassy plains interspersed with trees.
Vegetation zones are important for not only understanding the plant life in different areas but also examining the effects of climate change on vegetation. The type of vegetation present in an area can also indicate the type of animals that the area can support.