Plants also restrict which animals may dwell in a given area since they provide food for numerous creatures. Plants and animals are thus the final two habitat building ingredients. The many ecosystems on Earth are made up of all the building blocks. Living creatures thrive in environments that provide them with all they require. They need water, nutrients, energy sources, shelter, and space to move around.
Ecosystems are often divided into two general categories: terrestrial or aquatic. Terrestrial ecosystems include forests, grasslands, deserts, and ice caps. These areas contain structures such as trees, plants, rocks, and soil that allow life to flourish. Water is needed for most terrestrial organisms because it is used for breathing (oxygen) and for eating (hydrolysis). It also plays an important role in growth and reproduction for most species. Marshes, bogs, and meadows provide valuable habitat for many species due to their high levels of biodiversity. Deserts are very harsh environments without much life except for certain bacteria and fungi that can survive in these conditions.
Aquatic ecosystems consist of oceans, lakes, marshes, ponds, and streams. Like terrestrial ecosystems, they contain substances such as water, nutrients, and oxygen that are necessary for living things to grow and reproduce. However, aquatic ecosystems also include other organisms that cannot live in dry land including fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Rivers, lakes, and oceans provide different types of habitats for many species.
Plants serve as a home for animals. Plants provide animals with shelter and protection. Plants also serve as a source of food for animals. As a habitat, plants influence the climate. Plants, on a small scale, give shade, aid to control temperature, and shield animals from wind. On a large scale, they can affect weather patterns by acting as a barrier between cold and hot air currents.
Many animals live in or near forests. They benefit from the protection trees offer against heat, rain, and snow. Animals that live in forests also benefit from the food sources trees produce. Insects, fruits, and seeds are some of the many foods trees play host to. Animals that live in forests include: monkeys, parrots, bears, wolves, and people.
Trees help to purify the air we breathe. They remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen back into it. This process is called "carbon sequestration". Trees also use water more efficiently than humans do. They require less water per unit of crop yield than most other crops, which means that they can be grown in areas where water is scarce. This advantage helps them to spread into areas where they would not otherwise survive. Tress also reduce erosion due to their need for deep soil layers to grow in. Without trees, much of the soil on earth would be exposed to wind and water damage.
Animals depend on plants for survival.
To survive and reproduce, all plant and animal species, including humans, require a certain combination of food, water, cover, and space. These components combine to form a "habitat." A species cannot live in the absence of habitat. Therefore, habitat is essential for life on Earth.
Elements of a Habitat. Food represents the raw materials required by animals and plants to build their bodies and produce offspring. Animals get most of their energy from food that contains carbohydrates (sugar), proteins, and fats. Plants need carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur to grow and make seeds. They get these elements from the air, water, and soil. Animals and plants can't live without eating or being exposed to sunlight so these elements are always present in some form within a habitat.
Habitats range in size from small caves for cave bats to vast territories for lions. Large habitats contain more types of food than small ones. Smaller habitats may only have enough food to support a population of a single type of organism. Large populations often mean larger predators who can eat many organisms.
Predators use their skills and tools to find food. If there's not enough prey to go around, they will eat each other.
A habitat provides all of the environmental circumstances that an organism requires to exist. That includes everything an animal requires to hunt and gather food, choose a mate, and effectively reproduce. A suitable habitat for a plant must supply the correct balance of light, air, water, and soil. The presence of animals in an area can have an impact on the environment and require adjustments be made by humans to keep these ecosystems healthy. For example, animals such as deer which eat vegetation need to remain in areas where this type of food is available because otherwise they will starve.
An organism's need for a habitat leads to two important consequences for biodiversity. First, different species need different environments to survive. This is why natural communities consist of many different types of plants and animals. They provide a wide range of solutions for solving the same problem - finding a place to live. Second, because each species has its own needs it can't help but affect the other creatures living within its range. Animals can influence each other's survival through competition for food or resources, or by acting as predators or prey. Plants can influence each other's growth or susceptibility to pests by pollinating or being pollinated by other species.
In conclusion, organisms need habitats to survive and thrive. This is why biodiversity is so important; it ensures that species remain in the world long enough to fulfill their potential and contribute to future generations. Without their need for habitats, we would lose many species forever.