What does habitat mean in science?

In science habitat means a home for an organism that supplies food, water, and shelter. A collection of habitats is known as an ecosystem.

habitat mean in science
Photo of a habitat in science

The organisms present in an ecosystem are defined as population and communities. The group of organisms living in an area is called a population. Different populations of the area combine to form a community.

The key difference between habitat and ecosystem is that the habitat is the natural environment or area in which an organism lives.

The ecosystem is a functional unit in which plants, animals, microorganisms and physical environments interact with each other.

Table of Contents

Difference between environment and habitat

The difference between an environment and a habitat is that a habit can support the survival for specific species while the environment can aid in the survival of many living organisms.

For instance, an aquatic environment consists of fishes and animals that can survive in water but in the case of an environment can provide sunlight, air, and water for an organism to thrive.

An environment can help in governing the habitat, but habitat does not involve in the governing of an environment.

Explain how habitats are important for organisms

habitats are important for organisms
Habitats are important for organisms

Habitats are important for organisms as they provide all the necessities for survival. This includes  water, food, shelter, and space needed for the organism. All living organisms in a habitat require these components to survive.

For example, an arctic fox is well adapted to live in arctic regions covered by snow, and their white furry coat helps them to feel toasty even in a very cold climatic condition.

When an arctic fox is shifted to an unfavorable habitat such as a desert then it will not be able to survive.

Habitat definition biology

The definition of habitat in biology is a place or a location where an organism exists. All plant and animal life of a region can be broken down into habitats.

Habitat definition ecology

The definition of habitat in ecology is the area and resources used by a particular species. A habitat in ecology can also be understood as an assemblage of animals and plants together with their abiotic environment. 

Habitat definition in ecology

All living organisms that inhabit an environment are part of a habitat.

Like the study of habitats

study of habitats
Study of habitats

The study of a habitats is known as Ecology. Ecology involves understanding of the interactions of the living things with each other and with the environment they survive in.

An ecologist studies the relationship between living things and their habitats.

For example, an ecologist’s research is to find the favorable aspects of a habitat that help the living organisms in the area to survive. All of the organisms in a given location or area are termed an ecosystem.

Types of habitat

The two types of habitats are:

·       Terrestrial

·       Aquatic

Terrestrial habitats can be further sub-classified into deserts, farms, forests, grasslands, wetlands and so forth. Aquatic habitats include marine, brackish and freshwater habitats.

Types of habitat

The type of habitat an organism lives in is determined primarily by environmental evolution.

Which of the following would not cause habitat change?

habitat change
Habitat change

Typical rainstorms would not cause habitat change. Habitats can change over time because of natural and manmade influences on them. 

Natural factors such as hurricanes, drought, flooding, forest fire and natural succession can contribute to changes in the habitat. 

Man-made influences include conversion of forests to agricultural lands, development of the natural habitat into a city, and pollution such as industrial emissions and vehicle emissions. 

The loss of a habitat can lead to adverse effects on the living organisms which reside in that habitat. For example, if there is deforestation of a habitat then the fertility of the entire habitat is affected because of the loss of topsoil due to erosion.

The quality of the water present in the habitat will also be affected due to the sedimentation of the washed soil.