An ecosystem comprises of biotic elements like all the animals, plants and microorganisms and abiotic elements like soil, water sources, climate etc., in a specific area. Among all biotic elements, Flora and Fauna (plants and animals) are most fascinating ones.
Meaning of Flora
The term flora in Latin means goddess of the flower. Flora is a collective term for a group of plant life found in a particular region. The whole plant kingdom is represented by this name.
Flora is classified and differentiated based on many factors. The best one among them is the area in which they grow or are found. Some grow in desert regions or in water, some are found in hilly areas while, some are endemic to a specific land or forest. According to the place at which they grow, they have adaptations also.
For example, Cactus plants are naturally seen in deserts. They have adaptations like modified leaves or prickles to preserve water and protect themselves from predators. The agricultural flora consists of plants cultivated by men for their use. Horticulture is the practice of growing ornamental and decorative flowers which are also known as garden flora.
Meaning of Fauna
Fauna represents the animal life indigenous to a region. There are many explanations regarding the origin of the word. As per Roman mythology, Fauna or Faunus is the name of the goddess of fertility. Another source is Fauns which means forest spirits.
Animal kingdom comprises of a variety of animal life forms. Hence the classification of fauna is much more complex than the floral division. Therefore, for ease of classification, birds are categorized in the name Avifauna while fishes under Pisci Fauna. As microorganisms including bacteria and virus are generally considered under animal kingdom, they are known as Microfauna. All unknown and undiscovered animals are named as Cryptofauna.
The earth is beautiful because of all these life forms. Other life forms depend on them for various resources and exploit them. Conservation of flora and fauna is thus necessary for future survival. Biosphere reserves, national parks, zoos, and sanctuaries are few instances of the measures taken by the government for conservation of flora and fauna. Another example is the Tiger project launched by the government of India with the goal of saving the tigers in the country from extinction.
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