It is not easy to make a proper classification of the environment, looking at the diversity of the world in which we live. But there are two commonly known and accepted types of environment – natural or geographical environment, and man-made environment. Before discussing them, let’s have a look at what the environment is.
In simple words, the environment is the surroundings in which we live – it includes both the biotic and abiotic factors around us. We live in an environment, which may be a natural, social, or built environment. These are the surrounding conditions in which humans, plants, and animals live. Every individual existing in the environment has an impact on it because the environment also influences an individual's behavior. Thus, it can be clearly stated that individuals and the environment are related and are complementary to each other. The existence of the environment is significant because not only human life but any living being cannot survive without it. It provides natural beauty, maintains the balance of life, supports the food chain, and benefits living lives and their various activities.
The article answers the questions like what is the environment. It also discusses the different types of environments.
Components of Environment
The atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere make up the majority of the environment. However, it may be separated into two categories named, microenvironments and macro environments. The immediate local surroundings of an organism are known as the microenvironment whereas all the components including the biotic and abiotic factors make up the macro environment of an organism. The biotic component constitutes all the living things of environments, like microbe population, plants, and animals. Abiotic factors include temperature, light, rainfall, soil, minerals. It is sometimes referred to as the physical environment. It is made up of three layers: atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere.
Types of Environment
The classification of the environment broadly divides it into two categories – geographical and manmade environment, both the subsets are described below in the article.
Geographical environment is the terrestrial environment that is a creation of complex natural and environmental conditions. Although it arose independently of humankind, it is the complement of direct interaction between nature and human society. The geographical environment revolves around the subjects of climatology, geology, biogeography, etc. They are direct aspects of how human society conceptualizes the geography of the earth.
1. Does distinct environments generate different types of selection? 2. Does selection promote trait divergence? 3. What are the loci controlling these traits and fitness? 4. Do genomewide loci associated with local environments have higher divergence? (2— Cheng-Ruei Lee (@SteamPoweredDM) Apr 22, 2021
A geographical environment is also called a natural environment as it interacts with nature. The earth’s surface, rivers, mountains, deserts, land, water, oceans, volcanoes, etc. come under the natural environment examples.
Man cannot directly live in the geographical environment, so he creates some of his environmental conditions to adjust to it. This is a man-made or human-made environment, a human creation. A man-made environment is also called a social environment. It has two types which are described here.
The inner environment is the social environment that endures as long as society cherishes. The inner environment has a profound impact on human lives. The inner environment is often called the 'social heritage' as it is an important factor for humankind to exist, live and arise. It is entirely dependent on human social influence.
The outer environment is the physical environment that man has created on his own with the evolving technology and science. It is the modification of the physical environment that has helped cope with the progress of mankind and the development of the environment. It includes city infrastructures, houses, various amenities provided at the social and individual level, transport and communication, and much more. It can be said that the outer environment changes more rapidly than the inner one because it is in the hand of man and his evolving technology.
In conclusion, we have understood what is an environment. We have also learned about the different classifications of the environment.