What is flora and fauna?

o flora and fauna are the plants and animals living in an ecosystem or in a certain geographic region. It can also refer to the animals and plants of a certain period of time.

For example, flora and fauna from the Iberian Peninsula, or flora and fauna from the Paleozoic.

Definition of flora and fauna

The word flora is a Latin word that has its origin in Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. Word fauna It also has its origin in Roman mythology. Fauna was the sister of Faunus, a good spirit of the forest.

The set of living beings in a place forms the Biota. And within the biota you can find several groups.

Flora is the set of biota formed by all floors (trees, grasses, plants with and without flowers, etc.), and fauna is the set of biota formed by all animals (mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, etc.). ).

In addition to grouping different animal and plant species by geographic area, more specific habitats can also be used. For example, one can speak of aquatic flora and fauna to specifically refer to the flora and fauna of the water within a larger ecosystem.

Flora and fauna vs biota

As explained, flora refers to plant life and fauna to animal life.

However, it is common that when talking about flora some organisms that are not plants are included, such as fungi, algae and bacteria. For example, intestinal flora are the microorganisms that live in our intestines.

Likewise, when talking about fauna, it is common to include organisms that are not animals, for example, protozoa.

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To speak more precisely, the word Biota.

The term biota includes flora, fauna and all other living organisms. Flora and fauna would be two types of biotic factors. Fungi, bacteria and protozoa would be other types of biotic factors.

biotic factors (living organisms) together with abiotic factors (inert elements) are those that make up ecosystems.

Types of flora and fauna

Biologists and ecologists may be interested in studying the plants and animals of a region for a variety of reasons. o Conservation and protection are usually the main reasons.

Many organizations, including Fauna and Flora International (FFI), work in coordination to investigate and promote the protection and conservation of natural environments and their biodiversity.

To facilitate the study, flora and fauna are divided into categories and groups according to different criteria.

types of flora

Plants and plant organisms are grouped into flora types according to climate, habitat or time period, among many other criteria.

Some examples of flora types would be:

native flora: autochthonous or native species are those that live naturally in a certain habitat. Each ecosystem has its characteristic native species. Ornamental or garden flora: are plants cultivated by humans for recreational purposes. Agricultural flora: These are plants grown by humans as food. fossil flora: fossil remains of plants that existed in the past

types of fauna

Like flora, fauna is divided into several groups for study. Some of these groups are:

Megafauna: includes large animals. Microfauna: includes the smallest animals. mesofauna: invertebrates and soil-dwelling animals. Avifauna: includes only bird species. fish fauna: species of fish. Cryofauna: animals that live on ice or in frozen areas.
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Importance of flora and fauna

Flora and fauna are so important to us that it would be unimaginable to live without them.

Plants produce the oxygen that animals need to live, and animals release the carbon dioxide that plants use in photosynthesis.

Plants are primary producers in the food chain. They produce organic matter from inorganic substances, something animals cannot do.

At the same time, animals return nutrients to the soil where plants grow. Every plant and every animal contributes something to the ecosystem in which it lives and helps to maintain the life cycle of flora and fauna.

Human beings also participate in this cycle. We exploit the resources that the plants and animals of this planet give us and therefore we are also dependent on them.

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