The biota is made up of a diversity of living beingssince it is normal that it includes everything from bacteria and viruses to animals and plants, playing a crucial role in the ecology and balance of the planet.
In this article you will learn more about the biota characteristicsits distribution, classification, importance and its relationship with other key terms such as ecology, biodiversity and microclimates.
Meaning and definition of biota
The biota refers to the set of living beings that inhabit a certain geographic area, be it an ecosystem, a habitat, or a geographic region. This includes everything from microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses, even plants and animals, encompassing those that are native or have been introduced into a particular ecosystem. Biota can influence the structure and function of ecosystems, and is in turn influenced by them.
What is soil biota?
Soil biota refers to the set of soil-dwelling organisms, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, mites, worms, insects, and other organisms. This community of organisms is essential for the healthy functioning of soils and the maintenance of terrestrial ecosystems.
These agencies perform important functions, as the decomposition of organic matter, nutrient fixation, water quality regulation, pest and disease control, and the formation and stabilization of soil structure. The composition and diversity of the soil biota can be affected by factors such as humidity, temperature, soil pH, agricultural activity and pollution. It is important to understand soil biota in order to be able to manage soils sustainably and conserve terrestrial ecosystems.
What is bacterial biota?
Bacterial biota refers to the set of bacteria that inhabit a certain area, be it in an ecosystem, in a body or in any other environment. Bacteria are single-celled organisms found in a wide variety of habitats and serve a number of important functions in ecosystems and in the organisms that host them.
This biota is essential for the functioning of biological systems, since these bacteria can be beneficial or harmful to organisms, depending on the species and the context in which they are found. For example, some soil bacteria are important for nitrogen fixation, while others can cause disease in plants or animals.
It is also fundamental for the understanding of microbial ecology and for the study of microbial biodiversity. Furthermore, bacteria are an important source of enzymes, proteins and bioactive compounds They are used in a wide range of applications, from food production to medicine and biotechnology.
What is the intestinal biota?
The intestinal biota, also known as intestinal microbiota or intestinal flora, refers to the set of microorganisms that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of living beings, especially in the large intestine. This microbial community is made up of a wide variety of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that perform a number of important functions in the body.
complies essential functions in digestion, the absorption of nutrients and the synthesis of vitamins and other essential compounds for the organism. In addition, this microbial biota also influences the immune system, mental health and metabolism of the hosts.
The composition of the intestinal biota varies between individuals and can be affected by various factors such as diet, age, gender, health status and exposure to antibiotics and other drugs. The study of the intestinal biota is a constantly evolving field of research, which has become increasingly important to understand the relationship between the microbiota and human health.
The intestinal biota also has an important role in the intestinal barrier maintenance, which protects the body from pathogens and other harmful substances that may be present in food or in the environment. Gut biota have been found to influence the development and function of the nervous system, leading to the proposal of the term ‘gut-brain axis‘ to describe the relationship between the gut microbiota and the brain.
It has been shown that changes in the composition of the intestinal biota are associated with various diseasessuch as obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and depression, among others.
What are the characteristics of the biota?
The biota is in constant interaction with the environment and with other species, which can have significant effects on their distribution and evolution. Biota is also important for the functioning of ecosystems, since it performs various ecological functions such as nutrient fixation, plant pollination and predation. In addition, biota is an important source of biodiversity and can serve as an indicator of the health and quality of the environment.
It is important to note that the biota can be classified in different categoriesaccording to its characteristics and its ecological function, for example:
- The edaphic biota refers to organisms that live in the soil.
- The aquatic biota refers to organisms that inhabit bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, and oceans.
- The aerial biotawhich refers to organisms that live in the air.
- The intestinal biota that inhabits the gastrointestinal tract of living beings.
Each type of biota has its own ecological characteristics and functions, and its study is important to understand how living beings interact with their environment and how they affect each other. The biota is also influenced by various factors, such as temperature, humidity, climate and the presence of other organisms in the same ecosystem.
What are the types of biota? – Classification
There are different ways of classifying biota, and one of them is according to their habitat or environment in which it develops. Below are some of the main types of biota according to this classification:
Terrestrial biota: includes organisms that inhabit the earth’s surface, such as plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. It also includes organisms that live in the soil and in the different microclimates found in terrestrial ecosystems.
aquatic biota: It encompasses organisms that inhabit bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans. This biota is divided, in turn, into freshwater biota and marine biota.
aerial biota: includes organisms that they live in the airsuch as birds, insects and some bacteria.
Intestinal biota: refers to the community of microorganisms that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of living beings, including bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Another way of classifying biota is according to its taxonomic diversity, that is, according to the variety of groups or species that compose it. In this sense, different types of biota can be distinguished, such as the following:
Plant biota: includes all plant species that inhabit a given ecosystem. This biota can be very diverse depending on the type ‘predominant vegetation’ in the ecosystem, such as forests, grasslands, or deserts.
Animal biota: includes all the animals that inhabit a given ecosystem, from invertebrates to vertebratessuch as mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. This biota can also be very diverse depending on the ecosystem in question.
Microbial biota: includes all microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and archaea, that inhabit a given ecosystem. This biota is essential for the maintenance of biogeochemical cycles and for the survival of many organisms.
Why is biota so important?
Biota is of great importance due to its fundamental role in the functioning of ecosystems and in the survival of living beings that inhabit them. Among the reasons why it is important are the maintenance of biogeochemical cyclesthe production of oxygen, the control of pests and diseases, the contribution to the economy and the conservation of biodiversity.
The biota provides a wide variety of natural resources, essential for the economy and human well-being. Its conservation is essential to guarantee the survival of many endangered species and maintain the health of ecosystems.
In addition to its importance for the environment and life on Earth, biota also is the subject of study in ecologya scientific discipline dedicated to the study of ecosystems and the interactions between living beings and the environment in which they inhabit.
Ecology takes into account the importance of biota for the ecosystem maintenance and the services they provide to humanity, seeking to understand how organisms relate to their environment and how these relationships influence the dynamics of ecosystems.
Currently, biota is threatened by multiple factorssuch as deforestation, pollution, overexploitation of natural resources and climate change. These factors are causing an accelerated loss of biodiversity and a deterioration of ecosystems, which endangers the survival of many species and compromises the Earth’s ability to support life as we know it.
For all these reasons, it is important that measures be taken to protect and preserve biota and its ecosystems, including the reduction of the ecological footprint, the promotion of sustainable practices and the application of effective conservation policies. Only in this way can the survival of life on Earth be guaranteed and the health of the ecosystems in which we inhabit can be maintained.
What is the distribution of biota?
The distribution of the biota refers to the presence and abundance of living organisms in different places on the planet. The distribution of the biota is determined by a series of biotic and abiotic factors that influence the survival and growth of organisms, such as temperature, humidity, nutrient availability, competition between species, the presence of predators, etc. others.
The distribution patterns of biota can vary significantly over time and space, and can be influenced by historical events, such as continental drift, ice ages and migrations of species.