biome

Mountains

671 species

A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significantly exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger than a hill, typically rising at least 300 meters (1000 feet) above the surrounding land. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in mountain ranges. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces, erosion, or volcanism, which act on time scales of up to tens of millions of years. Once mountain building ceases, mountains are slowly leveled through the action of weathering, through slumping and other forms of mass wasting, as well as through erosion by rivers and glaciers. High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level at similar latitudes. These colder climates strongly affect the ecosystems of mountains: different elevations have different plants and animals. Because of the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains tend to be used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction, such as mining and logging, along with recreation, such as mountain climbing and skiing.