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Biotope: what it is and examples

“Biotope”, curious word. To understand its meaning, we are going to take a brief tour that we will begin by opening the etymological dictionary, the one that guides us about the origin of words, and we will end much further away, right where Nature has its place, that place where nature bustles. lifetime.

What is the biotope and why is it important? In the following AgroCorrn article we will give you an answer to these and other questions related to this word, so keep reading and learn what a biotope is and examples of it, as well as its great importance and its relationship with ecosystems and biocenosis.

Definition of biotope

We will start by clarifying what a biotope is . As the etymology indicates, bio- is a prefix that refers to life and -topo to the place , both taken from ancient Greek. But let’s go a little further. Now let’s open another dictionary. As is usually done when you want to know the meaning of any term, your thing is to look for its definition in the dictionary.

And to that we go. We discovered that the dictionary (the RAE, to be precise) defines the term “biotope” as a biological term, with a single meaning, which refers to “territory or living space whose environmental conditions are adequate for a certain development in it. community of living beings. ”

What are the components of the biotope

Now that we know the basics about the concept of the biotope, let’s talk about what are the factors of the biotope or, rather, its components. The factors of the composition of the biotope to take into account are three:

  • Substrate: they are the soils or surface on which life develops, that is, on which living beings grow, interact, move, etc.
  • Medium: it is the water and / or air in a place.
  • Abiotic factors: abiotic factors are factors that do not have life, so the above are included here, but also temperature, light, humidity, salinity of water, rocks, gases such as oxygen, nutrients from the soil, etc. Here we explain the Difference between biotic and abiotic .

What relationship does the biotope have with ecosystems

An ecosystem , as is known, groups together different populations of flora and fauna. They share that place and, logically, also the resources, although that sharing means in most situations competing for them, either directly facing each other, helping each other or, for example, adapting to the environment to take advantage of the resources for which there are less competition.

Be that as it may, the truth is that resources constitute a means of life for the species that make up the biodiversity that share the resources of the same environment. In this way of life, we can distinguish, on the one hand, the biocenosis (flora and fauna) and, on the other hand, the so-called geological environment or biotope.

In this way, the biotope , that is, climate, water, type of soil , among other components, forms an ecosystem when we find life, that flora and fauna or biocenosis in it. The sum of both, biotope and biocoenosis, translates into an ecosystem , since only their association allows a certain space to host biodiversity.

Biotope and biocenosis

The association of the biocenosis and the biotope , therefore, constitutes an ecosystem . There are many natural habitats that provide such relatively stable environmental conditions. And it is in them that this interaction between both elements occurs, giving rise to forest, river or any other type of ecosystems.

The life has its own dynamic , result of these interactions between different elements, which can be very different kind, among others, at the level of trophic relationships or relationships between species or energy exchanges.

Unlike a habitat, a term similar to biotope, but more closely related to species, this is related to biocenosis , understood as a set of organisms of different species that coexist in the space known as biotope.

To expand this knowledge, we encourage you to read these other articles on Biotope and biocenosis: difference, relationship and examples and What is biocenosis with examples .

Why the biotope is important

Unlike what happens with other terms such as ecology or environment, the term “biotope” is limited to the technical field . It is not usually used in everyday conversations, but knowing its meaning is important to improve our general culture and, of course, also to understand the importance of caring for the environment.

Breaking the balance that exists in an ecosystem, that relationship that is established between the biotope and the biocenosis. Its violation can occur at different levels. In the same way that the ecosphere is the ecosystem of ecosystems, the biotope can be approached from a more or less concrete approach . As it is, it is an essential concept.

That is, we can study an aquatic ecosystem at different levels, in general terms, either oceanic (marine ecosystem) or focusing on fresh water and even on the hydrological cycle as a planetary phenomenon, but also zoom to focus on a stream of mountain or, for example, in the ecosystem of some coral reefs. And, although the sum of different biotopes and biological communities form unique realities, the need for preservation is a common denominator of all of them.

Types and examples of biotope in ecology

Did you know that there are several types of biotope? These are their types and some biotope examples :

  • Aquatic biotope: oceans, seas, lakes and rivers . In these areas the biotope is made up of water, salinity levels, substrate or soil, water temperature, etc.
  • Terrestrial biotope: grasslands, mountains, forests … In these areas, the air and the types of gases it contains and at what levels, the soil or substrate, the rocks, the salinity levels of the soils, the soil nutrients stand out. , air temperature, etc.
  • Mixed biotope: a combination of the two previous ones, such as coastlines or marshes . In these there are more components, since those of the two main types are combined.

Biotope, which until recently was a term specialized basically in ecology and biology, in recent years has been gaining popularity thanks to proposals and initiatives for the restoration, creation and regeneration of environments and natural areas. In these cases, the meaning of biotope is that of small-scale ecological zones integrated into everyday life. Some examples of a biotope of this type are:

  • Promotion of green roofs .
  • Regeneration of rivers to restore quality.
  • Conservation of trees in cultivated areas.
  • Creation of natural green areas along motorways.
  • Creation of gardens and green spaces in the urban environment.
  • Ecological private gardens.
Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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