The key difference between flora and fauna is that the flora refers to the plant life in a particular region while the fauna refers to the animal life in a particular region.
Flora and fauna are two general terms used to refer to plants and animals in a particular region respectively. Since flora represents all plants, we can say flora includes all immobile autotrophic photosynthetic organisms. Similarly, we can say fauna includes all mobile heterotrophic organisms that depend on others for food sources. Hence, these words flora and fauna are mostly used together to describe the plant and animal life in a region or area. Both flora and fauna of a particular place are important for some reasons, especially for ecological reasons. Both plants, as well as animals that are indigenous to a place, maintain the 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.
What is Flora?
The word flora comes from the Latin word Flora who was considered princess of flowers. In general, flora represents all plants occurring in a specific geographic region or time. When we talk about 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.
Hence, 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 humankind.
What is Fauna?
Fauna is a word that comes from Faunus, Roman god, and Fauna, the 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.
Specifically, fauna represents immobile heterotrophic organisms. There are many subdivisions as follows:
- Infauna refers to animal species found inside water.
- Epifauna is a subcategory of Infauna, and this category consists of aquatic animal species that live at the bottom of the sea.
- Macrofauna refers to small organisms that cannot pass through a sieve of size 0.5mm. They normally live inside the soil of a place.
- Megafauna refers to all animals living on land.
- Meiofauna includes organisms that are invertebrates and found in both freshwater and marine environments.
What are the Similarities Between Flora and Fauna?
- Flora and fauna are two general terms.
- In an ecosystem, they interact with each other in many ways.
- Moreover, both are living organisms.
- Furthermore, they are eukaryotes.
What is the Difference Between Flora and Fauna?
Plants and animals represent flora and fauna in a particular region respectively. Specifically, all the immobile autotrophic organisms belong to the term flora. On the other hand, all mobile heterotrophic organisms belong to the term fauna. Therefore, this is the key difference between flora and fauna.
Besides, another difference between flora and fauna is the presence of a cell wall in the cells. Flora includes organisms that have a cell wall while fauna includes organisms that lack a cell wall. Furthermore, chloroplasts are present in flora, while chloroplasts are absent in fauna. Thus, it is another difference between flora and fauna.
The below infographic presents more details on the difference between flora and fauna.
Summary – Flora vs Fauna
Flora and fauna are two words that come together when describing the living organisms in a particular geographic region. Flora represents the plant life while fauna represents the animal life. Thus, it is the key difference between flora and fauna. Generally, flora includes all non-movable autotrophic organisms especially grasslands, forests and flowering and non-flowering plants. On the other hand, fauna includes all movable heterotrophic organisms especially animals, insects, fish and birds. Furthermore, flora contains chloroplasts as well as cell walls in their cells while both chloroplasts and cell walls are absent in fauna.