What is Habitat? Definition, Types, & Examples

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Habitat Definition

Habitat is the place or location where an organism (or a biological population) lives, inhabits, or exists is referred to as its habitat. Habitat is derived from the Latin word “habitātus,” which means “to have been inhabited.” Natural habitat, natural home, and natural territory are all synonyms.

What is Habitat?

A habitat is the place where a species of organism lives or flourishes in ecology. It is that species’ native habitat. It is here that it will find food, shelter, and a mate to reproduce. It’s here that the species will try to adapt as much as possible. Habitats can be a large geographical area or a single location (for example, a rotten log, a hollow tree, or inside the bark of a tree).

They can be either terrestrial or aquatic in nature. Forests, grassland, steppes, and deserts are examples of terrestrial ecosystems. Freshwater, marine water, and brackish water are all examples of aquatic environments. Habitats can be classed as arctic, temperate, subtropical, or tropical depending on their location.

Polar Habitats

Polar habitats are found on the Earth’s two poles, the northern polar area (Arctic) and the southern polar region (South Pole) (Antarctica). The climate in these areas is chilly and windy. In the arctic area, tundra is an example of a polar environment. It has a frozen ground practically all of the time. Its top will melt in the summer, allowing certain plants, such as grasses and mosses, to grow. Arctic animals have evolved specific adaptations that allow them to live in such severe environments. Polar bears, arctic foxes, and arctic wolves are among these creatures.

Temperate Habitats

Temperate habitats are found between the subarctic and subtropical zones in temperate areas. Summer, autumn, winter, and spring are the seasons in these areas. For instance, temperate woods. Eastern North America, north eastern Asia, western Europe, and eastern Europe are all home to them. The structure of temperate forests is simpler than that of tropical forests. Eastern chipmunks, white-tailed deer, and European robins are among the animals that live in temperate forests.

Tropical Habitat

The diverse ecosystems found in the tropics are referred to as tropical habitats. Because the tropics are located near the equator, they receive more direct sunshine than other parts of the globe. As a result, their climate is less volatile; they are typically hotter and wetter. A tropical environment is exemplified by a tropical rainforest.

Sub-tropical Habitat

The habitats present in the subtropics are known as subtropical habitats. They are situated between the tropical and temperate zones in terms of climate. The subtropical deserts, which are abundant in palms and citrus, are an example of a subtropical environment.

Habitat in Parasitology

A habitat is a location or environment where the parasite is most likely to be found in parasitology. As a result, it might be a part of its host’s body. A head louse’s habitat, for example, is its host’s scalp. The parasitic roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides makes its home in the gut of its host.

Habitat Citations
  • Making habitat connectivity a reality. Conserv Biol . 2018 Dec;32(6):1221-1232.
  • Habitat fragmentation experiments on arthropods: what to do next? Curr Opin Insect Sci . 2019 Oct;35:117-122.
  • Oral Microbiome Geography: Micron-Scale Habitat and Niche. Cell Host Microbe . 2020 Aug 12;28(2):160-168.
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