Flora and Fauna – Concept and characteristics

We explain what flora and fauna are and what their main elements are. Also, what are the native flora and fauna.

Flora and fauna
Flora and fauna are living elements that make up a specific biome.

What are flora and fauna?

Both flora and fauna are types of biotic elements of a given ecosystemIn other words, they are living elements that make up and in many cases make up a specific biome of our planet.

These terms, separately or together, are used to refer to the type of life specific to a specific geographic region or country: when we refer to flora, we refer to plant life (trees, shrubs, fungi, photosynthetic bacteria, etc.); and when we refer to fauna, then to the animal (reptiles, mammals, birds, protozoa, insects, etc.). In both cases, they are life forms adapted to the particular conditions of the environment to which we refer.

The relationships between flora and fauna are key to determining how life operates in a given place, be it an underwater habitat, an Amazon rainforest, or the intestinal entrails of a complex organism, such as the human body. In general terms, the flora involves the producing organisms, whether they are photosynthetic or not, and the fauna, on the other hand, the consumers in their different levels of trophic organization: herbivores, predators and decomposers.

Both categories are useful for the study from different perspectives and disciplines of a given region, since life is one of the elements that most chemically and physically modify the environment, along with erosion and other natural phenomena on the planet.

Native flora and fauna

Flora and fauna
The native flora and fauna refer to the animal and plant life of a specific place.

On the other hand, we speak of autochthonous flora and / or autochthonous fauna when it is desired to refer to plant and animal life, respectively, which is exclusive to a geographic region.

Since life migrates and spreads, and also changes in time, the categories of the autochthonous try to define the “native” species, that is, unique to a place, often to understand their kinship ties with other better known ones, or to draw attention to their uniqueness in terms of preserving the planet’s biodiversity.

Thus, a region can have rich or poor native flora or fauna, depending on whether the level of diversity of the species that make life in its spaces is high or low.

The general impoverishment of biodiversity, as species become extinct due to pollution or destruction of their habitat, is one of the main ecological problems facing the post-industrial world, and for which we humans are largely responsible.