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Components of Ecosystem: Introduction | Definition

Aug 19, 2022
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Key Concepts

  • Ecosystem and its components
  • Biotic and abiotic factors
  • Interaction between living and non-living organisms
  • Different types of ecosystems

introductionIntroduction

Fig 1

Physical, chemical and biological factors that affect the life of the living organisms in any possible way is collectively called the environment. We can say the environment is the condition in the surrounding. It includes many living, non-living, natural, and man-made factors. 

What living things do you see in this environment?  

What non-living things do you see in this environment?  

What are some living and non-living things in your environment?  

What is an ecosystem? 

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The non-living and living things that interact in an environment make up an ecosystem. 

There are diverse types of ecosystems present on earth, e.g., forest ecosystem, land ecosystem, desert ecosystem, and aquatic ecosystem. Each ecosystem has diverse kinds of living and non-living things. 

Fig 2

Plants make their home on the floor. Birds may use grasses and mud to make nests.  

Living and non-living things interact frequently. An ecosystem can be large, such as the Amazon forest, or small, like a pond. 

Fig 3

The living things that figure an ecosystem are called biotic factors. Plants, animals, and microorganisms are biotic factors and the non-living things that figure an ecosystem are called abiotic factors. Temperature, rainfall, snow, ice, sunlight, and soil are abiotic factors.  

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Different ecosystems have different climates, soils, and organisms. 

Fig 4

Aquatic Ecosystem 

Living and non-living factors together make up the aquatic ecosystem. Plants need a lot of water. They also need soil to grow well. Fishes in water also need water to survive. 

Fig 5

Desert Ecosystem 

In summer, temperatures can reach up to 49 ºC during the day, and at night can drop below 10 ºC. Deserts are home to many birds, snakes, lizards, and other animals. Small animals live under the ground. 

Fig 6

Rainforest Ecosystem 

What kinds of living and non-living organisms are present in the forest? 

The tall trees of the rainforest give the ecosystem different layers. 

Rainforest Layers 

Fig 7

The topmost area of the tallest trees is called the emergent layer of the rainforest. This layer receives a lot of sunlight and has high temperatures and winds. The canopy layer lies just below the emergent layer of the rainforest. Most rainforest animals live here because a lot of food, e.g., snakes and tree frogs, can be found in this layer. 

The understory is the area that lies below the rainforest canopy. Less sunlight reaches this layer because the canopy provides so much shade. Leopards, jaguars, frogs, and many insects live in this layer. The forest floor is the last layer, even darker than the understory level. Not many plants grow here because there is very little sunlight. Decomposers play an important role in this layer. 

Fig 8

Decomposers are the organism that feeds on or breakdown dead plants and dead animals. They clean the environment by eating dead organisms. Some examples are fungi, worms, maggots, ants, and bacteria. 

Fig 1

Summary

• The living and non-living things that interact in an environment make up an ecosystem.

• The living things that shape an ecosystem are called biotic factors. Plants, animals, and microorganisms are biotic factors.

• The non-living things that shape an ecosystem are called abiotic factors. Temperature, rainfall, snow, ice, sunlight, and soil are abiotic factors.

• An ecosystem is all the interacting parts of an environment. An ecosystem can be large, such as a redwood forest, or small, such as a pond.

• Different ecosystems have different biotic and abiotic components.

• Pond, rainforest, desert, ocean, etc, are examples of ecosystems.

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