Habitat is defined as the natural home of a group of plants or animals. This group of living things is known as a community. The habitat is also called the ‘address’ of a species. The habitat comprises distinct areas which have their own characteristic climate, soils and living communities of plants and animals.
Trees are the most common example of a habitat. They are home to several birds, insects and worms. Similarly, water bodies are the habitat of many water birds, plants and animals.
A tree provides living space for many different animals.
An ecosystem is a distinct area where various different species of plants and animals live together in harmony.
An ecosystem comprises the soil and the rocks under the ground, the ground level and the air enveloping it. It consists of number of habitats, The behavior of plants and animals depend on the conditions prevailing in their ecosystem. Living things adapt themselves to their surroundings and are associated with each other to constitute communities. Each one of them has specific roles to play within each ecosystem.
Do you know?
Ernst Haeckel was a supporter of Charles Darwin. His idea of ecology was forgotten until about 1900 when biologists began to take serious interest in it.
Ecosystems are distributed over the Earth mainly according to climate. There are zones of different climates ranging from cold and dry at the poles, to hot and wet at the Equator.
Some ecosystems have distinct boundaries. They can be easily differentiated. But many ecosystems merge together. The area where they merge is called an ecotone.
Human beings can also change their environment to suit their way of life. The study of humans change their environment is known as human ecology.
What is biosphere?
Biosphere is derived from a Greek word ‘bios’ which means ‘life’. It is a layer which extends slightly above and slightly below the surface of the Earth. It covers the entire Earth’s surface. It is, j basically, the living part of our home planet and comprises a number of ecosystems. It also includes the atmosphere which acts more like a blanket for the Earth and protects it from harmful rays of the sun.
It is just to make the study of biosphere easier that the ecologists divide it into smaller units such as ecosystems, habitats and niches. Each unit can be studied individually in great detail.
After that, the information obtained can be clubbed together to have a complete knowledge of the biosphere.
A rat shares living space with many other organisms.
The biosphere covers the entire surface area of the earth.
A forest provide home to many animals.
A large ecosystem such as a forest is called a biome.