The key difference between macro and micro habitat is that macrohabitat is a large-scale environment and a more extensive habitat while microhabitat is a small and specialized singular habitat that has a limited extent.
A habitat is a place where a particular species or a community of organisms lives. It is a natural environment that provides food, shelter, protection and mates for the reproduction of that particular species or a group of organisms. There are physical as well as biotic factors in a habitat. Soil, moisture, a range of temperatures, and light intensity are some of the physical factors while food and predators are two biological factors of a habitat. Macrohabitat and microhabitat are two types of habitats.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is a Macro Habitat
3. What is a Micro Habitat
4. Similarities Between Macro and Micro Habitat
5. Side by Side Comparison – Macro vs Micro Habitat in Tabular Form
What is a Macro Habitat?
Macrohabitat is a relatively large environment which has a sufficient extent. In fact, it is a more extensive habitat comprised of varied ecological niches. It provides space and other requirements to many flora and fauna. Therefore, macrohabitat has multiple environments with variations in the conditions and different types of complex organisms.
We can see a macrohabitat with our naked eye. Moreover, the topography and climate can be seen easily in a macrohabitat.
What is a Micro Habitat?
A microhabitat is a small and specialized habitat in which a particular species of organism lives. It has a limited extent, especially referring to the site itself. The conditions of the microhabitat differ from the surrounding matrix. In fact, a macrohabitat has unique conditions.
Most of the time, microhabitat is in reference to a particular species. Therefore, macrohabitat can also be defined as the conditions and organisms in the immediate vicinity of a plant or an animal. For example, it can be a hole in an oak tree, a decomposing log or animal, lichen growth, a microhabitat where snakes might hibernate, etc. Within an ecosystem, there are many different types of microhabitats.
What are the Similarities Between Macro and Micro Habitat?
- Macro and micro habitat are two types of habitats found in the environment.
- Macrohabitat generally contains a large number of microhabitats.
- Both macro and micro habitats have basic factors such as food and shelter, etc. that help organisms to survive.
What is the Difference Between Macro and Micro Habitat?
Macrohabitat is a large environment in which different species of flora and fauna reside. In contrast, microhabitat is a small specialized environment in which a particular species lives. So, this is the key difference between macro and micro habitat. Furthermore, there are multiple numbers of environments and ecological niches within a macrohabitat while there is a unique environment in the microhabitat.
Another important difference between macro and micro habitat is that macrohabitat extends for a large area, while microhabitat has a limited extent. Moreover, in a macrohabitat, varied environmental conditions are seen while in a microhabitat, we can see a unique environment without much variation. Forest, grassland, streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, estuaries and reefs, etc. are some examples of macrohabitats. Meanwhile, decomposing logs or animals, lichen growth, leaf litter, termite tubes, hole in an oak tree, a microhabitat where snakes might hibernate and the interior of an ant bed, etc. are few examples of microhabitats.
Summary – Macro vs Micro Habitat
Macrohabitat is relatively a large environment which has a sufficient extent to provide space and food for multiple numbers of species. Moreover, it has multiple numbers of environments which have varied conditions. On the other hand, microhabitat is a small and specialized habitat in which a particular species of organism lives. It has a limited extent. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between macro and micro habitat.
1. “Habitat.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Mar. 2020, Available here.