Key Idea The biosphere is the system of all of life on our planet. In addition to the living organisms, the biosphere also includes organisms that have died but not yet completely decomposed. We tend to identify Earth’s organisms with the plants and animals with which we are familiar. Most of us will never see or directly know about the vast majority of organisms that live on our planet. The biosphere includes all life on land, in water, and under the ground. In addition to plants and animals, it includes fungi, protists, bacteria and viruses.

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