A habitat (which is Latin for "it inhabits") is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant or other type of organism. It is the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds (influences and is utilized by) a species population.
The term "population" is preferred to "organism" because, while it is possible to describe the habitat of a single black bear, it is also possible that we may not find any particular or individual bear but the grouping of bears that constitute a breeding population and occupy a certain biogeographical area. Further, this habitat could be somewhat different from the habitat of another group or population of black bears living elsewhere. Thus it is neither the species nor the individual for which the term habitat is typically used.
The term microhabitat is often used to describe the small-scale physical requirements of a particular organism or population.
The monotypic habitat occurs in botanical and zoological contexts, and is a component of conservation biology. In restoration ecology of native plant communities or habitats, some invasive species create monotypic stands that replace and/or prevent other species, especially indigenous ones, from growing there. A dominant colonization can occur from retardant chemicals exuded, nutrient monopolization, or from lack of natural controls such as herbivores or climate, that keep them in balance with their native habitats. The yellow starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis, is a botanical monotypic-habitat example of this, currently dominating over 15,000,000 acres (61,000 km2) in California alone. The non-native freshwater zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, that colonizes areas of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, without its home-range predator control, is a zoological monotypic-habitat example.
- Habitat conservation
- Habitat destruction
- Habitat fragmentation
- Habitat garden
- Natural landscape
- Natural resource
- Human habitats
- ^ Dickinson, C.I. 1963. British Seaweeds. The Kew Series
- ^ Abercrombie, M., Hickman, C.J. and Johnson, M.L. 1966.A Dictionary of Biology. Penguin Reference Books, London
- ^ "Living Things: Habitats and Ecosystems". The Franklin Institute. http://www.fi.edu/tfi/units/life/habitat/habitat.html. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- ^ PDF (286 KiB), Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. Retrieved on 2008-10-15.
- ^ 1970 distribution of yellow starthistle in the U.S., a map from UCD's Yellow Starthistle Information website
- ^ Theel Heather J., Dibble Eric D., Madsen John D. (1948). "Differential influence of a monotypic and diverse native aquatic plant bed on a macroinvertebrate assemblage; an experimental implication of exotic plant induced habitat". Cat.Inist and Springer, Dordrecht, PAYS-BAS. http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=20189959. Retrieved 2011-4-17.
- (Turkish) Habitat.org.tr, Human Settlements, Environment, Education and Health Association (Türkiye)
- Interactive Coastal Habitat Mural from University of Delaware College of Marine and Earth Studies
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