Recent studies have greatly contributed to a better understanding of the earth's ecosystem. This abundantly illustrated book provides a fundamental introduction to the ecological zones of the geosphere. Nine terrestrial ecozones have been distinguished and described in individual chapters with respect to: distribution, climate, relief/hydrology, soil vegetation/animal lifeand land use. The first chapter provides the reader with a general introduction to each subject area. The second edition is a competely revised and updated version. A large number of new Anglo-American ecological studies are included. The book also includes more than 70 new figures and tables and detailed maps on global agricultural regions and soil classification. Another new feature is the discussion of the correlation between northern ecosystems and the carbon dioxide balance in the global atmosphere.