One of the most important branches of biology is ecology and this is a discipline that is based on studying ecosystems These ecosystems are the relationships that exist between living beings and the environment in which they develop. It is important to mention now that within ecosystems there are two important branches that are the biotope and the biocenosis . In this article we will refer to the biotope. These are the characteristics of the physical environment or environmentin which living beings develop, such as climate, relief and land properties. It is the set of flora and fauna that surrounds us, we could say that it is synonymous with habitat, but they have an important difference, the habitat refers to the specific area in which the species live and the biotope refers to all a biological community , also known as a biocenosis . It is the physical and natural space in which ecosystems are formed and inhabited, in which living beings manage to find all the conditions to be able to subsist.
What is a biotope?
A biotope is a part of biology that is responsible for making studies with respect to ecosystems and the environment in which they develop. It is the set of characteristics found in the environment necessary for the proper development of living beings.
The first scientist who spoke about the biotope was Ernst Haeckel during the years 1834 and 1919. He was an important zoologist of German origin who was highly recognized after publishing his theory of recapitulation . He was in charge of explaining to the whole world the importance of habitat in the life of a living being and explained the way in which ecosystems are changed by environmental factors such as soil, wind , heat, climate and the same interactions between the living being and the environment. ambient. The word has its origin in the Greek words βíος bios, which means ” life ” and the word τόπος topos, which means ” place “.
As we mentioned earlier, the biotope is the place in which living beings inhabit an ecosystem . It includes two important parts; the substrate and the physical and chemical conditions of the environment. Among the environmental characteristics that determine the physical and chemical characteristics we can mention the following:
Light: Necessary for photosynthesis and ecosystem life.
Water: All living organisms need it.
Temperature: Depending on the organism, a hot or cold temperature will be needed.
Water salinity : Depending on it, aquatic organisms live in salty and fresh water.
PH : Degree of acidity of the environment.
All these characteristics seek to have a correct balance to properly condition the ecosystem. We can also mention features such as:
Soil : It is composed of rocks, earth and the remains of living beings that have died and is already in a state of decomposition. It includes the type of soil and relief.
Climate: All atmospheric changes that happen in the environment.
The biotope has two different main components, although there are more. The first component refers to the environment in which living things develop and includes parts such as sunlight, water, air, climate, atmospheric pressure , humidity, and temperature. The second component is the substrate and refers properly to the soil or to the place in which living beings settle to subsist, for some organisms it will be water and for others the earth, waste in the decomposition stage, even other animals, for example , the dog that is used by the tick to survive.
- Biotope of the savannah : in this type we find many hours of sunlight, its temperature remains warm throughout the year, however, there are some rains at certain times of the year. Water is located in rivers and lakes of fresh water and is classified as a terrestrial biotope .
- Aquatic biotope: For example, the sea . In this place the environmental factors are hydrostatic pressure , constant stillness, low temperatures and practically no light, so there is no type of flora at the bottom of the sea .
- Desert biotope : Its characteristics include low rainfall , high degree of erosion , a lot of solar radiation and sandy or rocky soils. The few living beings that inhabit it hide during the day to avoid the strong heat and the sun.
Bathed by the river Amazonas born in the cordillera of the Andes , the Amazon biotope is an immense field practically flat running from the Andes Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean . It can be said that this huge jungle is the lung of the planet . It has a wet season lasting 6 months, which causes the flow of its rivers to grow greatly, producing floods in the jungle, which is why we observe roots and trees flooded several meters, especially for the fish that live in the place. At the bottom of the stagnant water a kind of bed formed ofleaves, branches and roots giving shelter to some species and this is what we know as one of the most common habitats in the world, a pure Amazon biotope .
The Quetzal Biotope is located in the municipality of Purulhá in Baja Verapaz , Guatemala and has an area of 1,044 hectares and was established as a protected area on June 2, 1976 thanks to Mario Dary Rivera , with the main objective of protecting the Quetzal and its habitat, the cloud forest . It is part of what we know as the Biological Corridor of the Cloud Forest and it is dominated by plants that grow over others to achieve support, for example, orchids and moss., the latter with a great ecological function since its function is to retain water and give protection to the soil. The quetzal biotope is a humid subtropical forest and is home to up to 87 different species of birds, among which the quetzal predominates, in addition you can find different types of reptiles, squirrels, foxes and monkeys.