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.
Abbreviations: DGVM = Dynamic Global Vegetation Model; HSS = Hanston et al. (1960).