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Difference between Flora and Fauna

The terms flora and fauna refer to plants and animals, respectively. In other words, flora is the plant life of a particular area or during a specific time period and fauna is the animal life of a particular area or during a specific time period. These terms are used frequently while discussing the biodiversity of a geographic al area. Let us see how flora differs from fauna!

Flora:

The term flora is derived from the Latin Language. It refers to the plant life of a specific region or during a specific time period. It is a botanical term frequently used to refer to the native plants of a region. It can be categorized on the basis of region, period, climate etc. However, the classification of flora primarily depends on the environment in which it grows naturally. Some common types of flora are as follows:

  • Native Flora: It refers to the native plants of a particular geographical area.
  • Agricultural Flora: It refers to the plants grown by humans with a purpose, e.g. fruits, vegetables and crops to satisfy their needs.
  • Horticultural Flora: It is also known as garden flora. It refers to plants grown by humans for decorative purposes such as different types of flowers.
  • Weed Flora: It refers to unwanted plants of a particular region that grow on their own along with the main crops or plants.

Fauna:

The term fauna is derived from the name of a Roman fertility goddess. It refers to the animal life found in a particular geographical region or during a specific time period. This term can also be used for a book cataloging the animals of a particular region or time period. The term fauna was first used by a Linnaeus in the title of his work Fauna Suecica.

There are various subdivisions of fauna, some of which are as follows:

  • Microfauna: It refers to very small or microscopic organisms of a particular region including protozoa and rotifers.
  • Megafauna: It refers to large mammals of a particular region, habitat or time period, e.g. elephants, giraffes, whales, cow, deer, tigers, humans etc.
  • Cryofauna: It refers to animals that are found in cold places.
  • Cryptofauna: It refers to those animals that are found in concealed or protected microhabitats.
  • Infauna: It refers to those aquatic living organisms that live in the bottom of water bodies, e.g. in the oceanic sediments or soft sea bottoms.
  • Epifauna: It refers to animals living on the bottom of water bodies, e.g. on the surface of the seabed or a riverbed or on the surface of submerged objects, plants, animals etc.
  • Avifauna: It refers to the birds of a particular geographical region or during a specific time period.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between flora and fauna are given below:

Flora Fauna
It is the plant life of a particular region or during a specific time period. It is the animal life found in a particular region or during a specific time period.
Flora is able to make its own food by photosynthesis. Fauna cannot make their own food. They depend on plants and other animals for their food, e.g. herbivores and omnivores.
Flora is immobile, e.g. plants cannot move from one place to another place. Fauna can move from one place to another place, e.g. animals
It is studied in botany. It is studied in zoology.
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