The world of ecology and biodiversity are strongly related and are studied through the type of biotope. The biotope is frequently confused with the biocenosis since they are quite broad and disparate factors. When the biotope and biocoenosis are combined they encompass the entire biosphere.
In this article we are going to tell you what the biotope is, what its characteristics are and some examples.
What is the biotope
The biotope in an ecosystem refers to the territory or living space whose environmental conditions are adequate for a certain community of living beings to develop in this territory. As we know, within an ecosystem different populations of flora and fauna can be grouped. These populations of flora and fauna depend on environmental conditions such as they are the climate, the geological elementsetc. Both animal and plant species share this place and the resources that exist in it. Sharing this ecosystem means having to fight for the resources of the territory. There are many animals that face both directly and indirectly in order to obtain resources.
There are other living beings that help each other and adapt to the environment in order to take advantage of the resources that are available. Be that as it may, natural resources constitute the means of life for the species that make up biodiversity. In this way of life we can distinguish between biocenosis and biotope. Biocenosis refers to the flora and fauna and the biotope refers to the geological environment. That is, the biotope indicates the climate, the water and the type of soil that makes up an ecosystem in which we find life. It is summarized in that the biotope refers to everything that does not have life. It can be contradictory since the word biotope carries the prefix bio which means life. However, it points to the ecosystem where the biocenosis lives.
Differences between biotope and biocenosis
The association between biotope and biocenosis is what determines the total space that can host biodiversity. If we put the biocenosis and the biotope together, we constitute the ecosystem as a whole. There are different types of natural habitats that provide different environmental conditions. These environmental conditions can be more or less stable. All of it will depend on climatic, geological and biological conditions. When the interaction between both elements occurs, it gives rise to ecosystems of different types. We find forest, river, or any other type of ecosystems.
We have to know that life has its own dynamics. And it is that living beings are the result of the interactions between the different elements of the ecosystem, both living and inert. That is, living beings evolve and adapt to the environment based on properties and characteristics, both inert and alive. Interactions with different elements can be very different. At the level of trophic relationships or species relationships they can be between living beings and energy exchange relationships can be with the non-living environment.
Unlike a natural habitat, the term biotope is more closely related to species and is related to biocenosis. Biocenosis is understood as the set of all organisms of different species that coexist in a space known as a biotope. This is how the relationships between the biotope and biocenosis are established to give rise to the ecosystem as a whole.
The biotope is of great importance in the study of ecosystems and ecology. For the environment, the term biotope is limited to a more technical scope. That is, you cannot see in some conversation as a biotope term. However, know its meaning it can be important to improve the general culture and understand the importance of caring for the environment.
Many people are informed about how to protect certain species that are in danger of extinction. These people focus more on finding how to repopulate or increase the number of individuals of this species. However, one of the reasons why species are in danger of extinction is due to the destruction of their natural habitat. The conditions in which the biotope where the biocenosis lives is found is a determining factor for its development and adaptation.
In natural ecosystems there is a fine balance that establishes the relationship between the biotope and the biocenosis. That is, the ecological balance is one that guarantees the survival of the species through the interaction of living and non-living elements. In the same way we can point out different levels in such a way that the ecosphere presents the ecosystem of ecosystems. We can approach the biotope as something more concrete. We can study an aquatic ecosystem at different levels and in general terms we could focus on the study of fresh water or the hydrological cycle. These two variables that are studied would make up the biotope of an ecosystem. The species that live within this fresh water correspond to the biocenosis.
The science that studies ecosystems from different levels and points of view. We can find studies that range from a marine ecosystem in its entirety to a simple mountain stream. The importance of these studies is that the sum of the different biotopes and the biological communities that they form is what guarantees ecological balance. It is this ecological balance that must be preserved since it is a common denominator of all of them.
We are going to analyze some biotope examples to make it clear what the idea is. This term is gaining more and more popularity in the field of ecology. And there are many proposals and initiatives that exist for the restoration, creation and regeneration of the natural environment. In this case, the biotope acquires a meaning that corresponds to the small-scale ecological zones that we integrate into our daily lives.
Some examples of biotopes are the following:
- Regeneration of rivers to restore water quality.
- Creation of natural green areas
- Promotion of green roofs
- Creation of gardens and green spaces in the urban environment
- Private and ecological gardens
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the biotope and its importance.