The bio-sphere is made up of the living system consisting of plant and animal kingdom,and the non-living components including minerals, water etc., The entire system issustained by the source of energy, the Sun. Organisms belonging to different specieseither of plant kingdom or animal kingdom interact among themselves as well with the physical environments they occupy. This system is called ecological system or ecosystem.
Components of Ecosystem
As discussed above, an ecosystem has three distinctive components that can be identifiedas :
non living or abiotic component including climate regime
living or biotic component
source of energy – light and heat
These comprise of inorganic and organic compounds present in the environment. Theinorganic components of an ecosystem are oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, minerals etc.,whereas carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, amino acids etc., are examples for organicmaterial. The climate, light and heat can be either studied under abiotic component, or asseparate entities. The predominant source of energy in the earth’s biosphere is sun. Theaboitic substances are circulated in the ecosystem through material cycles and energycycles.
Living organisms in the ecosystem – various species of plants and animals includingmicrobes are termed as biotic components. They can be classified as producers(autotrophs) and consumers ( heterotrophs).
Producers ( Autotrophs)
Autotrophs produce their own food from inorganic substances, using light or chemicalenergy. Green plants including the unicellular algae which contain the pigmentchlorophyll are producers. They take up simple substances such as water, carbon di-oxide, and oxygen, as well as inorganic nutrients and produce biological moleculesneeded for life from the inorganic substances. This production activity is vital for theexistence of the ecosystem as the products of photosynthesis support the life on earth.