A place where organisms make their home is called habitat. It has all the important environmental conditions which are must for survival. In everything it comes gathering of food, selection of mate, reproducing successfully, etc. In the case of plants, a good habitat means a place where there is a good combination of light, air, water, and soil. For example: plants like prickly pear cactus need sandy soil, dry climate and bright sunlight for proper growth as they mainly grow in areas like the Sonoran Desert in northwest Mexico. This type of plants cannot grow in wet, cold areas.
Few major components of a good host are shelter, water, food and space. And when all kinds of arrangements are there in a proper way then it is called to be a good habitat.
Types of Habitat
A. Terrestrial Habitat: When plants and animals survive on the earth, then such habitats are called terrestrial habitats. There are three kinds of terrestrial habitats, they are:
Desert: In desert habitat, at night animals stay out and in day they stay inside the deep holes in the sand. And in desert plant photosynthesis takes place through stems, to prevent loss of water.
Mountain: In mountainous habitat plants are cone shaped and leaves have needle like structure, to prevent snow from shed on plants. And animals of such habitat have thick fur to protect them from cold.
Grassland: Such habitats are present in grassy areas.
B. Aquatic Habitats: Plants and animals which live under water are called to live in aquatic habitats. Further, aquatic habitat are of two types:
Ponds: In ponds plants have their root stick to soil and their roots are totally submerged in water.
Oceans: Organisms who live in the ocean have gills which help them in the utilization of dissolved oxygen in the water. While some animals also use nostrils for breathing like whales and dolphins.
There are so many factors which affect the distribution of an organism, they are temperature, humidity, climate, soil and light intensity, and the presence or absence of all the requirements that the organism needs to sustain it. In the case of some plants and animal species their requirements are fulfilled in a wide range of locations. Like Pieris rapae butterfly is found all over the continent except Antarctica continent as its larvae have capability to feed on a wide range of Brassicas and various other plant species, and it thrives in any open location with diverse plant associations.
A fascinating area of natural science which helps to broaden our understanding of the interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms is called habitat ecology.
It can also be defined as the type of natural environment in which few species of an organism survive, characterised by both physical and biological features.