Pranav H. Vashi1
The High Peaks Wilderness Area in the Adirondack Park is an example of a diverse ecosystem.
An ecosystem can be defined as 'a structural and functional unit of biosphere or segment of nature consisting of community of living beings and the physicalenvironment, both interacting and exchanging materials between them'.Ecosystems are dynamic entities composed of the biological community and theabiotic environment. An ecosystem's abiotic and biotic composition and structure isdetermined by the state of a number of interrelated environmental factors. Changes inany of these factors will result in dynamic changes to the nature of these systems. For example, a fire in the temperate deciduous forest completely changes the structure of that system. There are no longer any large trees, most of the mosses, herbs, and shrubsthat occupy the forest floor are gone, and the nutrients that were stored in the biomassare quickly released into the soil, atmosphere and hydrologic system. After a shorttime of recovery, the community that was once large mature trees now becomes acommunity of grasses, herbaceous species, and tree seedlings.