Difference Between Flora and Fauna (With Table)

The association of living organisms that live together in an environment is called an Ecosystem. Both Biotic and Abiotic components are related to each other via life cycles and energy flow. It is very complex and interconnected. An ecosystem is determined by many factors. Both external and internal factors are there like soil, climate, topography, decomposition, types of species living, shading etc. Flora and Fauna are also part of an Ecosystem.

Flora vs Fauna

The difference between Flora and Fauna is that Flora means the vegetation which is found in a specific area like plants, fungi, algae etc. Fauna means the animals which are living in a specific area like birds, microorganisms, animals etc. Flora is studied under the branch of Botany. While Fauna is studied under the branch of Zoology.

Flora refers to the life of plants that are present in a specific geographical region or are indigenous. Flora consists of all types of plants, algae, bacteria, and fungi. Plants are classified into Floras depending upon period, special environment, region (floristic regions), or climate. When Plants are divided into Flora according to the region, then they can be of different habitats like in the mountains and in oceans. Sometimes when a Plant is discovered from a historical era, then it is termed as Fossil Flora.

Fauna refers to the life of animals that are present in a specific geographical region or are native to that place. Mostly Zoologists and Palaeontologists use the term fauna to refer to the collection of animals that are found in a specific place or time. The study which is related to the Fauna of a particular area is called Faunistics. There are various subdivisions of Fauna depending upon the region they are found in, like Cryptofauna, Epifauna, Infauna etc.

Comparison Table Between Flora and Fauna

Parameters of ComparisonFloraFauna
NutritionAutotrophsHeterotrophs
ClassificationHorticultural flora, native flora, agricultural flora and weed floraInfauna, epifauna, cryofauna, limnofauna, stygofauna, troglofauna, xenofauna, cryptofauna,macrofauna etc.
BranchBotanyZoology, Palaeontology
EvolutionFirst form of life on earthDeveloped after flora
LocomotionImmovableMovable
ClimateAffects FloraFauna affects it.

What is Flora?

Flora is a collection of plants life and species which live in a specific region and forms a habitat. Natural vegetation grows in the ecosystem and is native to its place. Flora contains all the plants, algae etc. Sometimes even bacteria and fungi are also considered flora. Then they are known by the name skin flora or gut flora. Flora are autotrophs i.e. they can make their food with the help of photosynthesis. Fauna is dependent on Flora for food.

The term ‘flora’ comes from the Latin word which means the goddess of plants, fertility and flowers in Roman mythology. Word’ Flora’ came in use at the end of the sixteenth century when the term was used in poetry form describing the natural vegetation of a specific area. Flora was also used to describe flowers in the artificial garden in the 17th century. Earlier term vegetation and flora was used together synonymously. The distinction between the two was first made by Jules Thurmann in 1849.

Flora is classified according to the era(period), environment, climate and region. Its classification includes Weed flora, horticulture flora, also called garden flora, Agricultural Flora and Native Flora. Flora is studied by botanists, and they come under the branch of Botany. Flora is very important for our environment. It is one of the first life forms that appeared on earth. Flora consists of the cell walls and chloroplast, and they are immovable.

What is Fauna?

Fauna is a collection of animal species that are present in a specific region at a particular time. It consists of various types of animals. Fauna is studied by zoologists and palaeontologists under the branch of Zoology and Palaeontology. Some of the famous examples of fauna include Burgess Shale fauna, Sonoran desert fauna etc. Palaeontologists find out how there was the development of fauna at different stages by examining fossils which are series of rocks.

Faunistics are the study of animals of a particular region. The term fauna comes from the word ‘Fauna’, which symbolises the Roman Goddess of fertility and earth. In Roman mythology, there exists a Roman God, Faunus, and the forest spirits are called Fauns. The word was first used by Swedish Zoologist Carl Linnaeus in his work Fauna Suecica in 1745. There are various types of subdivisions of fauna according to region.

They are infauna, epifauna, cryofauna, limnofauna, stygofauna, troglofauna, xenofauna, cryptofauna,macrofauna, megafauna, meiofauna, microfauna etc. Fauna is heterotrophs in nature, i.e., they are dependant on others like flora for food. They appeared after flora was evolved. Chloroplast and cell wall are absent from Fauna. Fauna is movable. Fauna is responsible for affecting climate.

Main Differences Between Flora and Fauna

  1. Flora is Autotrophs i.e. can make their food and are independent. Fauna is Heterotrophs i.e. they are dependent on food.
  2. Flora is classified based on regions like horticultural flora, native flora, agricultural flora and weed flora. Fauna have various subdivision like epifauna, cryofauna, limnofauna, stygofauna, troglofauna, xenofauna etc.
  3. Flora is studied under Botany. Fauna is studied under Palaeontology and Zoology.
  4. Flora evolved first on earth and are considered the first form of life. Fauna evolved after flora.
  5. Flora is immobile. Fauna is mobile.
  6. Climate is responsible for affecting Flora. Fauna is responsible for affecting climate.

Conclusion

Both Flora and Fauna are part of an ecosystem. Collectively flora, Fauna and other forms which exist on earth are called Biota. Flora is the plant life. While fauna is wildlife. Both Flora and Fauna are very important for the earth, ecosystem and life. They are also important economically as it encourages tourism. Places, where incredible flora and fauna can be seen, are the Amazon forest and Caribbean forest.

Flora and Fauna have various classifications based on region. Like epifauna means aquatic animals that are present in the water body. Horticulture flora or garden flora means that are grown by humans. Examples of flora are trees, flowers, plants, flowering plants etc. Examples of fauna are fish, insects, birds etc.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=wfWNq91AjeoC&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=Flora+and+Fauna&ots=gZk0MWfjoE&sig=Z-_FLHMUB3mAGrrUZIaYNmyUn6Q
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320701001914
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