What is a habitat?
A habitat is the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, and/or other organism. There are two main variables which help to determine the geographical distribution of earths different habitats which include: precipitation and temperature.
- Forests – A forest will grow where there is enough water available to fulfil the trees needs. The extent of the tree growth will also depend on temperature range, soil nutrients, adequate growing season and altitude. Some forest trees will create a canopy that will shade the forest floor and provide a variety of animals a pleasant ecosystem to live in.
- Grasslands - Grasslands are classified as grassy, windy, partly dry biome, and a sea of grass. Almost ¼ of the Earth’s surface is grasslands. There are two types of grasslands tropical and temperate. Tropical grasslands are hot all year round with wet seasons that can bring torrential rain. Temperate grasslands have hot summers and cold winters. The evaporating rate is high so hardly any rain will make it into the rich soil.
- Deserts - A desert is a place that gets around 25cm of rain or less a year. Deserts cover about one seventh of the earth's surface. The landscape of deserts varies greatly, but all deserts have 1 thing in common. They are all extremely dry, and can be one of the harshest places on earth .many deserts have extremes in temperature, with very high temperatures in the day and cold temperatures at night. Deserts are not only made of sand as many people think. They consist of rocks, mountains, and sand. Desert sands are often rock which has weathered down to sand over many centuries.
- Wetlands – wetlands are areas where water is present all year round or at least part of the year. Some examples of wetlands are:
- Coral reefs
- Peat lands
- Mud flats
Wetlands can be natural or artificial and the water in these wetlands can be flowing, fresh, static or saline. Wetlands are fairly important parts of our natural environment as they protect our shores from wave action, reduce impacts of floods, absorb pollutants, and can overall improve water quality.
How do we maintain a Sustainable Habitat?
There are organisations that work towards preserving our habitats such as: Keep the Habitat work towards preventing deforestation and the rehabilitation of forests. And also, non for profit organisation The Nature Conservancy are working towards protecting countless numbers of habitats to preserve life on earth.