Ecosystem Zones and Climatic Biomes of Pakistan

The diverse ecosystems/biomes of Pakistan

INTRODUCTION

Climatic Zone: It is defined as an area with well defined climatic conditions. The different areas in the world are categorized according to various climatic parameters such as temperature, rainfall, snow, summer and winter seasons, etc. 

Biome: It is defined as an environment that hosts a diverse variety of plants and animals well adapted to particular regions. The biodiversity shares more or less similar characteristics and inhabits many continents in the world. 

Ecosystem: It is defined as a system based on the interaction between living and nonliving factors of the Earth system. These environmental aspects are also called abiotic and biotic factors. The community includes living organisms that live in harmony with nonliving things. In an ecosystem the biotic and abiotic factors are connected through energy flow and nutrient cycles. 

TWO TYPES: AQUATIC AND TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM 

Aquatic Ecosystem: It is defined as an ecosystem that is found in water bodies. In an aquatic ecosystem, the communities rely on each other and on the biome. There are further two categories of aquatic ecosystem that include freshwater ecosystem and marine ecosystem.

Terrestrial Ecosystem: It is defined as an ecosystem that is found on dry lands or soils. According to the climatic zones, the terrestrial ecosystem is further categorized into few ecosystems that include Temperate Deciduous Broadleaf and Mixed forests, Coniferous (Taiga or Boreal) Forests, Mangrove Forests, Grasslands and Shrublands, Littoral and Swamp forests, Tropical thorn forests, Tundra and Alpine, and Desert 

AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS / BIOMES OF PAKISTAN

Marine and Coastal: Marine and Coastal ecosystem refers to ocean or marine life and this ecosystem includes estuaries, mangroves, salt marshes, coral reefs, etc. Marine and coastal ecosystem is found in Gawadar, Karachi coast, Makran coast, Lasbella, etc. 

Coral reef: Coral Reef ecosystem refers to marine biome that include reef building corals existing in shallow water. This ecosystem is found in coasts of Pakistan such as Gawadar, Jiwani, Chunra and Astola Islands. 

Freshwater Wetland: Freshwater Wetland refers to ponds, streams, lakes, rice paddies that have less concentration of dissolved salts. This ecosystem is found in Salt ranges in Punjab, alpine regions in northern Pakistan, Indus Plain in Sindh and Jiwani and Makran coast in Baluchistan. 

Freshwater: Freshwater Ecosystem refers to ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, icebergs, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and groundwater and they are found in all provinces of Pakistan including Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir. Northern regions of Pakistan – Gilgit Baltistan-  also have freshwater ecosystem in the form of glaciers and lakes that are found in mountain ranges such as Karakoram and Hindu Kush.  

Estuaries: Estuaries refers to a transitional zone between freshwater body and marine water body. Estuaries have brackish water that support unique biodiversity. These water bodies/ transitional zones are found in two provinces of Pakistan that are Baluchistan and Sindh. The coastal areas of Sindh and Baluchistan have estuaries. 

TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS /BIOMES OF PAKISTAN

Temperate Deciduous Broadleaf and Mixed Forests: This ecosystem is found in Upper Dir, Mansehra, Wazirstan, Kaghan Valley, Swat Valley, Shangla, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Abbotabad, etc.

Coniferous (Taiga or Boreal) Forests: This ecosystem is found in Swa Valley, Malam Jaba, Dir, and upper Kaghan.

Mangrove Forests: This ecosystem is found along with Indus River Delta in Sindh and Gawadar Bay, and Milani Hor in Balochistan.

Grasslands and Shrublands: This ecosystem is found in Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, Karakoram Ranges, etc.

Littoral and Swamp Forests: This ecosystem is found in Rann of Kuchh, Makran coats, Bundle Island, Gawadar Coast, Indus River Delta, etc.

Tropical Thorn ForestsThis ecosystem is found in Mirpur Khas, Mianwali, Bhawalpur, Sarghoda, Dera Ghazi Khan, etc.

Tundra and AlpineThis ecosystem is found in Northern Pakistan – Gilgit Baltistan, Karakoram Ranges, Koh Hindu Kush, Skardu, etc.

Desert: This ecosystem is found in Rahim Yaar, Bhawalpur, Yazman, Bhawalnagar, Khan Pur, etc. This biome is present in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan.

Also, check out International Environmental Agreements Signed by Pakistan

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