In KSP terminology, a biome is geographically contiguous area on the surface of a celestial body. They yield different experimental data (and flavor text). Currently, only the Kerbin System, consisting of Kerbin and its moons Mün and Minmus, have biomes. Although officially only Kerbin, Mun and Minmus have biomes, there are two different biomes available on Laythe and Eve because part of their surface is covered by fluids which represent another biome.
Taking data at different altitudes (including 'on the ground', i.e. surface samples) over different biomes reveals different scientific results. Scientific results always count for the complete biome, even if the biome are not connected other parts of the biome. For example the pole biome Ice Caps on Kerbin counts as one on both poles, as long as they are named the same, and results between both won't differ. Depending on the scientific experiment, it will either differ between all biome or between none and result always same.
In real life, biomes are contiguous areas with similar climatic conditions and organism communities. Without organisms, there are no biomes.
The planet Kerbin has 9 true biomes which extend into airborne and orbital altitudes. It also has three surface-only biome special locations, all of which are at KSC, which KSC counts as Shores biome while in flight.
There is also a distinction between being on land in a biome or in water. Most rivers and smaller bodies of water are the same biome as the ground around them. Only large lakes and Kerbin's oceans are counted as Water biome areas. Shores make up medium-sized lakes and coastal areas, covering both beach areas and on out into the water. Interestingly, small islands in Kerbin's oceanic areas, such as at the Insular Airfield, sometimes are counted as surface landings, not splashdowns, within the Water biome.
Science can be done in landed and splashed situations within biomes where bodies of water can be found. Science can also be done in biomes at various altitudes.
Kerbin biome list
The Mun has in total 15 biomes, 7 of which are large-scale major craters with specific names. Most of the surface area belongs to the Midlands biome followed by the Highlands. Canyon biomes extend off a few major craters.
There is no atmosphere on the Mun but some experiments can be done at various flight altitudes.
Mun biome list
- Northern Basin
- Highland Craters
- Midland Craters
- East Crater
- East Farside Crater
- Farside Crater
- Northwest Crater
- Southwest Crater
- Twin Craters
- Polar Crater
- Polar Lowlands
Minmus has in total 9 biomes. Unlike the Mun, none denote specific craters or other localized landmarks. The most distinctive quality of Minmus's biomes is the variety of Flats.
There is no atmosphere on Minmus but some experiments can be done at various flight altitudes.
Minmus biome list
- Lesser Flats
- Great Flats
- Greater Flats
All other celestial bodies have only one biome for the complete body. This will most likely change in the future.