An Ecosystem is a community of living things in a conjunction with the nonliving things of their environment.
An Ecosystem is a complex set of relationship among the living resources, habitats and residents of an area
It includes plants trees, animals, fish, birds, micro-organism, water, soil and people
Ecosystem varies greatly in size and elements that make them up, but each is a functional unit of nature.
Everything that lives in an ecosystem depends on the other species.
If the element which is also a part of the ecosystem gets damaged or disappears, it has an impact on entire ecosystem.
When an ecosystem is healthy all elements live in balance and are capable of reproducing themselves.
Topics covered in this snack-sized chapter:
An ecosystem is made up of plants, animals, microorganisms, soil, rocks, minerals, water sources and the local atmosphere interacting with one another.
Matter from one organism is moved and converted into matter in another organism
Energy also flows in an ecosystem.
An ecosystem has two components abiotic and biotic components.
Energy, water, nitrogen and soil minerals are other essential abiotic components of an ecosystem.
The energy that flows through ecosystems is obtained primarily from the sun.
The way in which plants and animals grow and carry out their different activities is a result of several abiotic factors.
These factors are light, temperature, water, atmospheric gases, wind as well as soil (edaphic) and physiographic (nature of land surface) factors.
Solar energy provides practically all the energy for ecosystems.
Inorganic substances, e.g., sulfur, boron, tend to cycle through ecosystems.
Organic compounds, such as complex molecules (protein), form a link between biotic and abiotic components of the system.
The abiotic components of a grassland ecosystem are the non-living features of the ecosystem that the living organisms depend on.
Sun is the major source of energy
All the living organisms directly or indirectly take energy from sun.
Biotic components are the living things that shape an ecosystem.
A biotic factor is any living component that affects another organism.
It includes animals that consume the organism in question, and the living food that the organism consumes.
Biotic factors include human influence.
Biotic components are contrasted to abiotic components, which are non-living components of an organism's environment, such as temperature, light, moisture, air currents, etc.
Biotic components usually include:
- Producers, i.e. autotrophs: e.g. plants; they convert the energy (from the sun, or other sources such as hydrothermal vents) into food.
- Consumers, i.e. heterotrophs: e.g. animals; they depend upon producers for food.
Living things are biotic components of ecosystem.
Biotic components can be classified according to their mode of energy acquisition.
- Decomposers, i.e. detritivores e.g. fungi and bacteria; they break down chemicals from producers and consumers into simpler form which can be reused.
- An autotroph is a self-feeding organism that produces complex organic compounds (carbohydrates) from (water and CO2
) using energy from light.
- Autotrophs are fundamental to the food chains of all ecosystems in the world.
- Plants are basically the autotrophs they produce primary food for all other living creatures.
- Heterotrophs cannot produce their own food directly from sunlight + inorganic compounds.
- They require energy previously stored in complex molecules.
- All animals are heterotrophs.
- Lions eat wildebeest and zebras.
- Green sea turtles eat sea grasses.
A food chain shows the different organisms that live in a habitat, and what eats what.
A food chain always starts with a producer.
They are the organisms that make their own food.
They are usually the green plants, because plants make their own food.
A food chain ends with a consumer.
They are the organism that eats a plant or other animal.
- In all of these cases, the animal's carbon comes from ingesting other organisms.
Classification of consumer:
- A consumer that eats plants is called herbivores.
- A consumer that eats other animals is called carnivores.
Predators and Prey
- The consumer that eats both plants and animals are called omnivores.
- Predator is an animal that eats other animals.
- The Prey is the animal that gets eaten by the predator.