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Difference Between Flora and Fauna

Flora vs Fauna

The words flora and fauna are mostly used together to describe the plant and animal life in a region or area. The word flora comes from the Latin word Flora who was considered princess of flowers. Flora is a collective noun and it comprises all plants, trees, fungi and bacteria that may be present in a place at any given point of time. Fauna is a word that comes from Faunus, Roman god, and Fauna, Roman goddess of earth and fertility. It is a collective noun that includes all animal life in a place or region at any given point of time. There are many differences in flora and fauna of a place even if the two words are used as a single phrase. Let us take a closer look.

First, and this is an important point to remember that flora and fauna of a place refer to indigenous plant and animal life of a geographic region. Another point to remember is that both flora and fauna are collective nouns and one cannot single out a plant or an animal to say this is flora or fauna of this place. But you can use the phrase flora and fauna when describing the green cover of a place as well as diversity of animal life of a particular region.

Both flora and fauna of a particular place are important for a number of reasons, most of all for ecological reasons. Both plants as well as animals that are indigenous to a place maintain delicate ecological balance and scientists keep track of all species to see if any of these species are facing any danger of extinction. Scientists and environmentalists then work in close cooperation to devise methods to restore this delicate ecological balance.

When we talk of flora alone, we mean two different things. One meaning of flora pertains to all species of plants found in a geographical area while another meaning of the term pertains to a book which is a work of science that contains information about all plant species of a place for the purpose of their identification. Flora can be native, agricultural, or weed flora. Native flora of course refers to all plant species that are indigenous to a place and not those that have been imported and then grown in a place. Agricultural flora refers to plants that are again and again grown by human beings in gardens and farms for their use. Weed flora is those plants that are considered useless by humans and that are sought to be eliminated by mankind.

Talking of fauna, there are many subdivisions that are as follows:

- Infauna refers to animal species found inside water. They are also referred to as aquatic animals.

- Epifauna are a sub category of Infauna as these are aquatic animal species that are found at the bottom of a sea.

- Macrofauna are small organisms that cannot pass through a sieve of size 0.5mm. These are normally found inside soil of a place.

- Megafauna refers to all animals living on land

- Meiofauna are organisms that are invertebrates and found in both freshwater and marine environments.

Difference Between Flora and Fauna

• Flora of a place refers to plant life and contains all plant species, including fungi.

• The word flora comes from roman goddess Flora, goddess of flowers

• Fauna refers to all animal species found in a geographical region

• While talking of flora and fauna, only indigenous species are considered and not those that are brought from other places and grown or bred.

• Herbivores are part of fauna that are dependent upon flora and thus it is vital to preserve flora

• There is a delicate ecological balance established by flora and fauna of a place


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