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Keywords:

  • Climate-vegetation relationship;
  • Fire ecology;
  • Global biome;
  • Herbivory by mammals;
  • Trophic ecology

Abstract. Climate sets the limits to plant growth but does climate determine the global distribution of major biomes? I suggest methods for evaluating whether vegetation is largely climate or consumer-controlled, focusing on large mammal herbivores and fire as influential consumers. Large parts of the world appear not to be at equilibrium with climate. Consumer-controlled ecosystems are ancient and diverse. Their distinctive ecology warrants special attention.