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  • There is a huge diversity of biogenic habitats infographic
    Rights: Department of Conservation Published 15 May 2021 Size: 2.6 MB Referencing Hub media

    The habitats created by living organisms are called biogenic – ‘bio’ means life and ‘genic’ means formed by. Biogenic habitats are those made from living things (such as kelp forests) or from the activities of plants, animals or other organisms (like the burrows that a crab makes).

    On land, the mighty kauri tree could be considered a biogenic habitat. The tree itself is a living organism, which provides habitats for birds, insects, ferns and fungi.

    This is the basis of biogenic communities – one type of organism provides the structure for many other organisms to live.

    In the ocean, kelp forests play a similar role. These biogenic habitats are like underwater cities with different species living together in thriving communities. You could think of biogenic organisms as the architects and construction workers who turn the basic materials of the seafloor into living cities.

    A few individual organisms do not form a functional biogenic habitat. The real value for species, conservation and fisheries comes from the ability for these plants and animals to form large, biogenic habitats.

    The organisms that create these habitats are crucial for maintaining healthy oceans, rich with many types of life. They engineer the areas around them to support other species and make valuable resources available, such as oxygen and nutrients.

    Download the Department of Conservation infographic as a PDF.

    Copyright: Department of Conservation

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