What is the definition of a terrestrial habitat?


A terrestrial habitat is any sub-section of the environment on land that harbors living organisms. Terrestrial habitats include forests, grasslands, wetlands, deserts and tundra. Technically, however, even a single boulder can constitute a terrestrial habitat, with an entire small ecosystem under and on it.

A habitat is a region with particular biotic, or living, and abiotic, or non-living, factors supporting and challenging organisms living in it. Some habitats, such as rainforests, provide tremendous amounts of resources and positive conditions for life, and thus have a wide variety of organisms living in them at high density. Others, such as the Antarctic plateau, are extremely hostile to life and only a relative few organisms, mostly very specialized plants and microorganisms, live under these conditions. Other terrestrial habitats lie between these two extremes. In general, the major constraints on life in any habitat are temperature and water availability.

Terrestrial habitats include man-made environments as well, including urban habitats and farmland. Each sub-section of this habitat, such as an individual building or a field of corn, is also a habitat. For instance, while humans intend houses to be human habitats, they also serve as habitats for species such as mice and cockroaches. Fields of crops include not only the intended crop but multiple species of insects and weeds.

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