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I'm in some urgent need of advice about linking together biomes in a realistic manner. Can a taiga connect to an alpine tundra to the north, and a steppe to the south? Then what would branch off of those? I'm sure there's complexity to it that I'm missing. I know the further from the equator generally means colder climates.

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Jul 30 at 6:03
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    $\begingroup$ Your question seems very rudimentary and simplistic. This makes me think that you might want to do more research first, getting an understanding of the subject matter(?) E.g. have you had a look at Wikipedia? The article on Biomes has a nice map of our planet that seems to already answer your question: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biome $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Jul 30 at 6:26
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    $\begingroup$ Take for example the Siberian taiga. What lies north of it? What lies south of it? Please note that (1) alpine tundra is, well, alpine, that is, a high altitude biome; (2) north of the taiga you usually find plain tundra, not the alpine variant; (3) Earth's biomes are not arranged in neat latitude strips extending all around the world -- things such as mountains, deserts, oceans, inland seas and so on make for a complicated arragement... $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jul 30 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't familiar with the term "taiga" so I googled it. The dictionary definition that popped up on top is: "the sometimes swampy coniferous forest of high northern latitudes, especially that between the tundra and steppes of Siberia and North America." So that answers your specific question. You might want to edit to discuss the basics and then ask the question you're still not sure of. $\endgroup$ – Cyn Jul 30 at 15:36
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There are several ways to achieve this, but it depends on how large, what barriers you have between your biomes and what arrangement they are

If your Biomes are encapsulated environments (for instance, in domes):

  • Connect using an airlock is the most simplest way. It keeps the environments separate, allows minimal cross-contamination of species and seeds, and minimal energy loss between environments.

  • Connect using as little interaction as possible, a common wall perhaps with a small tunnel or opening. You would have some cross-contaminants and energy loss but hopefully this would be minimal.

If your Biomes are 'open' and not encapsulated:

  • You can place each one in a valley, or depression, separated by ridges or walls. Temperature differences can hopefully be contained within it, however keep in mind this is energy intensive but it depends on how advanced and large your biomes are.

  • You can separate your biomes by distance: this is the most rudimentary, but your biomes would need to be very large to make this worth the energy loss and contamination. In this instance you're looking at hundreds of kilometres for each biome. Cross contamination is a real possibility in this scenario, depending on your original environment.

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Copy from the real world.

biome map

https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1768/pp1768.pdf

A new map of standardized, mesoscale (tens to thousands of hectares) terrestrial ecosystems for the conterminous United States was developed by using a biophysical stratification approach. The ecosystems delineated in this top-down, deduc- tive modeling effort are described in NatureServe’s classifica- tion of terrestrial ecological systems of the United States. The ecosystems were mapped as physically distinct areas and were associated with known distributions of vegetation assemblages by using a standardized methodology first developed for South America.

Find a map that shows biomes. Biomes might be called ecosystems as is the case in the linked paper. Find on the map the biome you are interested in and see how it grades into its neighbors and why (latitude, altitude, moisture etc). You can deduce your own rules if you want, or just copy from existing areas into your built world. No-one will recognize the Ozarks turned at a right angle on your map. Unless you name them the Zozarks in which case some folks might figure it out and smile at your joke.

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    $\begingroup$ 😂😂😂 I laughed harder than I should have at this. $\endgroup$ – LordJacifer Jul 30 at 18:12
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Taiga cannot border steppe (at least wide forest have to be in between, or, like in Siberia - some low forested mountain range), but tundra can (It is actualy a "cold steppe" - it would be smooth translation from cold steppe to temperate one).

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Yes

Taiga can, and almost always do, border tundra. Between 60 and 75 degrees north/south, taiga gives way to tundra, especially if there's a cold surface current flowing by the coast.

Look at Canada, for example, where the turquoise subarctic continental climate, aka taiga, borders grey tundra.

enter image description here

Cold steppes bordering taiga is, as far as I know, without precedent - there is always at least a thin strip of humid continental climate in between the two. The closest you get is in the Western half of the US, but still the two biomes do not actually touch:

enter image description here

So, yes and no is the best answer I can give you.

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