The habitat ( word origin from Latin habitare ' to live' ), in German mostly translated as habitat , describes in biology the characteristic habitat of a certain animal or plant species or the habitat determined by specific abiotic and biotic factors in which the species is in a stage lives its life cycle.
The term habitat was originally used only in an autecological sense , i.e. based on one species. In English-language literature (and now occasionally in German-language texts) it is also used in a synecological context, synonymous with biotope , so that the place where a community lives is also referred to as habitat. Campbell and Reece define a habitat as a spatially delimitable part of a biotope. The term is also used in other sciences. In botany, especially vegetation ecology, the term location is usually used instead of habitat in the auto-ecological sense .
Habitat of animals and plants
According to Campbell and Reece (2009), a habitat is understood to be the habitat used by a selection of animal or plant species from the community of a biotope. Habitats thus form partial habitats in biotopes. The selection is often limited to a few species or one species, such as “habitat of a species”. Depending on the type and time of use, a distinction is made between foraging, spawning, breeding and nesting habitats or between summer and winter habitats.
Very small or specially demarcated habitats are called microhabitats . Habitats that mark the preferred habitat of a species are also called preferred habitats, biochorions or choriotopes . They are usually given for larger, heterogeneously structured biotopes. Extremophile species settle in extreme habitats , in habitats with extreme environmental conditions.
If the entire habitat of an individual or a population comprises several differently structured areas, we speak of complementary or partial habitats. They can be determined primarily for mobile, migratory species such as fish or migratory birds and can also be located in separate biotopes. Partial habitats can be found for all animals whose habitats can be divided into functional spaces, for example for feeding, reproducing or retreating.
In connection with (especially huntable) wild animals, habitat or colloquially, habitat is common. Such habitats form protection, cover or resting zones. The fish fauna, for example, needs habitat on or after exhausting long-distance hikes.
The terms Fauna-Flora-Habitat and FFH-Area are used colloquially abbreviated and unspecifically for areas of community importance, i.e. areas according to Directive 92/43 / EEC (Fauna-Flora-Habitat Directive) . This refers to habitats of mostly individual species that have been or will be included in the European Natura 2000 system of protected areas for the purpose of species conservation .
The degree of dependence on a particular habitat is called habitat specificity . In the case of parasites, for example, this describes their dependence on certain body regions on or in the host organism.
To the origin of the word
The widespread use of the term habitat in biology goes back to the naturalist Carl von Linné , who in his work Species Plantarum published in 1753 always introduced the sentence or paragraph on the habitat of the species in his Latin-language descriptions of the species with italicised habitat in ... 'Lives in ... ' (Emphasis on the first syllable, hence for example Spanish hábitat ). This practice was retained in later species descriptions.
To the change of meaning
Both in German and in other languages - such as French and Spanish - the term is originally only used in an auto-ecological way, i.e. each habitat is a habitat of a species . The use in a synecological context, up to the synonym for biotope , is mainly due to the influence from the English-speaking area.
In anthropology Habitat commonly referred to as a dwelling place like a house or tent or even a settlement of the people , as living space , town , agglomeration or landscape typical form of housing, or a settlement area as one used by a certain population group as a living room area . A dwelling station on another celestial body in space is also called a habitat. In this sense, human habitats are examined by settlement geography and macrosociology .
- Stefan Nehring, Ute Albrecht: Biotope, Habitat, Microhabitat - A contribution to the discussion on the definition of terms. In: Lauterbornia 38, 2000, pp. 75-84 (PDF; 156 kB).
- Gerhard Wagenitz : Dictionary of botany. The terms in their historical context. 2nd, expanded edition. Spectrum Academic Publishing House, Heidelberg / Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-8274-1398-2 .
Official Journal of the European Union with annexes (Annex I - Natural habitats of Community interest, for the conservation of which special protection areas must be designatedAnnex II - Animal and plant species of CommunityinterestInterest, for the conservation of which special protection areas must be designatedAnnex III - Criteria for the selection of the areas which could be designated as sites of Community importance and which could be designated as special protection areasAnnex IV - Animal and plant species of Community interestto bestrictly protectedAnnex V - Animals - and plant species of Community interest, the removal of which from nature and use can be the subject of administrative measures)
- Habitat. s. [from Latin. habitare = to live], living area of an animal or plant species within a biotope. Lexicon of Biology . Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg 1999. - Note: Lat. habĭtat is the 3rd person Sing. Praes. Ind. Of habitāre .
- Habitat, habitat determined by specific abiotic and biotic factors in which an organism species is at home in one of the stages of its life cycle. Compact lexicon of biology . Spectrum Academic Publishing House, Heidelberg 2001.
- Matthias Schaefer: Dictionary of Ecology. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-8274-2561-4 , p. 111.
- Neil A. Campbell, Jane B. Reece: Biology . 8th edition. Pearson Studium, 2009, ISBN 978-3-8273-7287-1 , pp. 1610 .
- Andreas Kremling: Compendium Systems Biology - Mathematical Modeling and Model Analysis. Vieweg & Teubner, Wiesbaden 2012, ISBN 978-3-8348-1907-9 , p. 11.
- Gerhard Albert & Hans Langer: Ecological reorientation of federal waterway management. Umweltbundesamt, p. 41 (39) , accessed on August 13, 2014 : "The hydromorphology must have [...] with regard to the migrations of the aquatic fauna [...] suitable] habitat to interrupt the strenuous long-distance migrations [...]"
- Carolus Linnaeus: Species Plantarum . Lars Salvius, Stockholm 1753, digitized version .
- Real Academia Española: hábitat. (Del lat. Habĭtat, 3rd pers. De sing. Del pres. De indic. De habitāre). 1. m. Ecol. Lugar de condiciones apropiadas para que viva un organismo, especie o comunidad animal o vegetal.
- Thomas M. Smith, Robert L. Smith: Ecology. Pearson Studium Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8273-7313-7 , p. 10.
- Habitat in: Lexicon of Biology , online edition.
- Habitat in: Lexicon of Geography, online edition.
- HABITAT, subst. masc. A. - Espace qui offre des conditions qui conviennent à la vie et au développement d'une espèce animale ou végétale. L'habitat d'un animal, d'une plante (Ac. 1935). […] Center National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales (CNRTL).
- Diccionario de la lengua española. Espasa-Calpe, Madrid 2005. hábitat. m. ecol. Lugar que ocupa una especie animal o vegetal: el mar es el hábitat de las medusas. ecol. Conjunto de condiciones geofísicas en que se desarrolla la vida de una especie o de una comunidad animal o vegetal: las nutrias del Pirineo desaparecieron al verse dañado su hábitat. ( wordreference.com ).