What is FLORA and FAUNA - Definitions and images

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In summary, we can say that flora is the set of plant species that we find in a specific place at a specific time, while fauna is the set of animals that we find in a specific place at a specific time. Next, we will explain in depth what is flora and fauna. We will give you the definitions, we will talk about the categories of each one, its importance for the environment and ecosystems and you will also be able to see images of the flora and fauna. Keep reading this Green Ecologist article to find out!

Definition of flora and fauna

Flora is a word that comes from Latin, more specifically from its mythology, since Flora was the Roman deity for flowers, spring and gardens. However, today, we talk about flora to refer to all flowers, plants, shrubs, trees and even fungi or bacteria from a specific region in a specific time period. The word fauna, for its part, also has its origin in the Roman world, since in its mythology, Fauna was the sister of the spirit that lived in the forests, Fauno. The fauna Is the set of animals that inhabit a specific region in a specific time period. Thus, flora and fauna refers to all animals, plants, trees, shrubs, in short, the animal and plant world of a specific area during a specific time.

Flora and fauna include the species and genera of animals and plants that inhabit an area, their connections, and the connections with the rest of the environment. However, they are not only delimited by geographical areas, but can be extended to lower or higher habitats. For example, we can talk about the flora and fauna of a specific beach, the flora and fauna of the Caribbean Sea and the aquatic flora and fauna, different levels of habitats that include or exclude some species depending on the level we are studying.

There are many reasons why both ecologists and biologists are interested in the study of flora and fauna, on the one hand it serves to deepen our knowledge about ecosystems, as well as the relationships that are established between their members. On the other hand, they are vital to improve in the conservation and protection of biodiversity and natural spaces.

What is flora

We have already explained that Flora is the Roman goddess of spring, flowers and gardens, but what does flora mean today? At the botanical level, the meaning of flora are all plants, trees, shrubs and other vegetables that we find in a specific geographical area, be it a mountain, a mountain range, a region, a peninsula or an entire continent.

As well as fauna, there are many levels of study regarding flora, we can talk about the flora of a specific forest or of an entire country. In addition, we can also talk about the flora in a geological period or a different one. Be that as it may, it refers to how the plant species are distributed, the relationship they have between them, the changes that occur with the climate or with the fauna with which they coexist.

There are different scientific branches that deal with the study of flora, but the geobotany, which studies how plant species are geographically distributed. From his studies we know that plants and plant species are grouped into floras depending on the time period, the regions, the climate and the specific environment. In addition, the flora can be distinguished in the following types:

  • Native flora: are all those plants, trees, shrubs, flowers or fungi that appear naturally in a specific place.
  • Agricultural flower: all those species that have been cultivated by humans, either at an agricultural level, as well as at an ornamental or garden level.

The traditional classification also included another subgroup, the weed or flora weed. Here entered the plants considered as undesirable and that had to be eradicated. To this day, this classification has been somewhat out of date since, on the one hand, many of these plants that were previously considered weeds today are considered necessary for the ecosystem. Furthermore, they are not a homogeneous group, since among the weeds we find both native weeds, invasive species and reintroduced autochthonous species.

What is fauna

The fauna is he set of animals who live in a specific geographical area, who lived or live in a specific period or who are part of a specific ecosystem. The science that studies the geographic distribution of animals (fauna) is the zoogeography and, within this field, it is studied how factors such as water, temperature or fauna contribute to the distribution of animals, since they have a great sensitivity to changes in their habitat.

Although we speak of fauna in a generic way, it is actually a group that we can divide into different subgroups. Here we explain the different types of fauna depending on the origin of the species that inhabit that area, as well as depending on their nature:

Wild or wild fauna

We speak of wildlife referring to all those animals that live in a specific place naturally, that is, in freedom of movement, they are not domesticated or bred by man. Even so, within the wild fauna (or wild) it is also possible to distinguish between those animals that belong to the ecosystem itself or those that have come from outside, either naturally or introduced by man:

  • Native wildlife: it is the native fauna, the one that belongs naturally to the environment in which they live.
  • Allochthonous wildlife: also known as foreign or exotic, it is all those fauna that live wild but that are in an environment that does not correspond to them. Mostly it has been introduced by man, either voluntarily or unintentionally.

Domestic fauna

Unlike wild fauna, domestic or domesticated fauna are all those animals that have been domesticated by man, either free or confined, but whose capacities and bodies are exploited by human beings to give work, company, skin, eggs, meat or wool. Examples of domestic fauna are dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, goats or horses.

We recommend you learn more about the Characteristics of wild and domestic animals with this other post.

What is endemic, autochthonous and invasive flora and fauna

Now that we have clarified what flora and fauna is, we can go into more detail by commenting a bit what are endemic, autochthonous and invasive flora and fauna:

  • Endemic flora and fauna: They are the species that evolve, develop and also live throughout their life cycle in a specific place and do not go to other areas, so they are normally found in a single region or country, they are only and exclusively in a certain territory. Endemic species are, at the same time, native or autochthonous species. Here you can discover more about endemic species: definition and examples.
  • Autochthonous or native flora and fauna: they are living beings that have their natural origin in a specific territory, but they do not have to be endemic, that is, they do not have to be exclusive to an area. In this other post you can learn more about what is a native or autochthonous species.
  • Invasive flora and fauna: Invasive species of animals and plants are species that have somehow reached, normally introduced by humans, to another region that is not their own and there they thrive so much that they end up affecting native and endemic species, even displacing them to other regions or leading them to extinction by not leaving them enough territory, access to food, etc. Here we show you what invasive plants are with examples of species and invasive species in Spain and their consequences.

List of flora and fauna of the world

Finally, if you want to know better flora and fauna different countries and regions of the world, go ahead and read these other Green Ecologist articles.

  • Flora and fauna of Venezuela.
  • Flora and fauna of the Pacific Region.
  • Flora and fauna of Mexico.
  • Flora and fauna of Colombia.
  • Flora and fauna of Guatemala.
  • Flora and fauna of Brazil.
  • Flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands.
  • Flora and fauna of the Falkland Islands.
  • Flora and fauna of the Andean Region.

Also, below you will see a flora and fauna image gallery.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is flora and fauna, we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category.

Photos of What is the flora and fauna

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