Pond Ecosystem

What is a pond ecosystem? Read this article to know more about pond ecosystem.

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The ecosystem is a basic unit in ecology, formed by the interaction of plants, animals and microorganisms (biotic factors) with their physical environment (abiotic factors). A pond ecosystem refers to the freshwater ecosystem where there are communities of organisms that are dependent upon each other and with the prevailing water environment, for their nutrients and survival. Usually, ponds are shallow (hardly 12-15 feet) water bodies in which sunlight can reach to its bottom permitting the growth of the plants that grow there. The organisms inhabiting a pond ecosystem include algae, fungi, microorganisms, plants and fishes. These organisms can be further classified as producers, consumers and decomposers, based on their feeding habit. The energy in a pond ecosystem flows from the producers to the consumers. Decomposers, on the other hand consume dead organisms by decomposing them. Let¶s look into the habitats and food chain in a pond ecosystem. Habitats in a Pond Ecosystem - There are mainly four habitats in a pond ecosystem, namely shore, surface film, open water and bottom water habitats. Shore Habitat: The organisms inhabiting this habitat vary depending upon whether the shore is rocky, sandy or muddy. In case of rocky shores, plants might not be able to grow, whereas in muddy or sandy or mixed type, plants like grasses, algae and rushes can be present along with organisms such as earthworms, protozoa, snails, insects, small fishes and microorganisms. Surface Film Habitat: Surface film habitat, as the name suggests implies to the surface of the pond. In general, insects like water striders and marsh traders, organisms that are free-floating and those that can walk on the surface of water inhabit the surface habitat. They nourish on the floating plants, dead insects, and sometimes, feed upon each other. Open Water Habitat: Open water habitat is inhabited by fishes and the plankton (tiny organisms). Both phytoplankton such as algae and zooplankton such as insect larvae, rotifers, tiny crus taceans

Thus. and turtles. if a pond is shallow and has sandy bottom. which can feed on both plants and the herbivores of the first and second trophic level respectively. For example. snails and insects inhabit the bottom. beetles. The largest predator in a pond ecosystem will normally be a fish and in-between range smaller insects and microorganisms. and are very important to the tourism industry. Ponds Main article: Pond These are a specific type of freshwater ecosystems that are largely based on the autotroph algae which provide the base trophic level for all life in the area. recharge ground water and provide habitats for wildlife. [edit]Functions Aquatic ecosystems perform many important environmental functions. water bugs. organisms like earthworms. Fishes feed on plankton. whereas if the pond is deep and has muddy bottom. the carnivores consume the producers and herbivores. flatworm. For example. The first trophic level is represented by the producers or the autotrophs.and invertebrates are present in this habitat. The third and the topmost trophic level comprises of the carnivores.[5]Aquatic ecosystems are also used for human recreation. purify water. namely the first. These nutrients are generated in such a way that they can be readily used by algae and plants for production of food to be consumed by the herbivores. [3] . Decomposers. tadpoles. frogs. for example. The second trophic level is characterized by the herbivores such as insects. This is important for the environment. They prepare their own food with the help of energy from sunlight through the process of photosynthesis. commonly known as decomposers. Food Chain in a Pond Ecosystem . phytoplankton and plants. phosphorus and magnesium. the bottom habitat varies. which are located at the bottom of the food chain. the flow of energy is maintained in a pond ecosystem. especially in coastal regions. second and third trophic levels.Food chain in a pond ecosystem is divided into three basic trophic levels. Bottom Water Habitat: Depending upon whether the pond is shallow or deep water. crustaceans and invertebrates inhabiting the pond and which consume the plants. Furthermore. mostly the bacteria and fungi are very important in the nutrient cycle as all the organic matter from the dead and decayed organisms is converted into carbon dioxide and nutrients such as nitrogen. especially the fishes. rat-tailed maggot and nymphs of dragonflies mostly inhabit the bottom habitat. In addition to the three trophic levels. It may have a scale of organisms from small bacteria to big creatures like water snakes. they recycle nutrients. attenuate floods. microorganisms. there are saprotrophic organisms.

Though some salt can be good for organisms. Fish need dissolved oxygen to survive. which form a self-regulating and self-sustaining unit. Biological alterations include the introduction of exotic species. A stress on an aquatic ecosystem can be a result of physical. Freshwater used for irrigation purposes often absorb levels of [6] salt that are harmful to freshwater organisms. and toxins. [5] [edit]Abiotic characteristics An ecosystem is composed of biotic communities and abiotic environmental factors. Great concentrations of animals that feed on this bacteria are . [edit]Biotic characteristics The organisms (also called biota) found in aquatic ecosystems are either autotrophic or heterotrophic. oxygen consuming materials. [5] The amount of dissolved oxygen in a water body is frequently the key substance in determining the extent and kinds of organic life in the water body. while many freshwater organisms are intolerant of salt. Human populations can impose excessive stresses on aquatic ecosystems. Physical alterations include changes in water temperature. Chemical alterations include changes in the loading rates of biostimulatory nutrients. Abiotic environmental factors of aquatic ecosystems include temperature. chemical or biological alterations of the environment. The salinity of the water body is also a determining factor in the kinds of species found in the water body. These organisms are able to feed on hydrogen sulfide in water that comes from volcanic vents. Conversely.[6] [edit]Autotrophic organisms Autotrophic organisms are producers that generate organic compounds from inorganic material. Chemosynthetic bacteria are found in benthic marine ecosystems. salinity. and flow. Algae use solar energy to generate biomass from carbon dioxide and are the most important [6] autotrophic organisms in aquatic environments. [6] oxygen is fatal to many kinds of anaerobic bacteria. water flow and light availability. Organisms in marine ecosystems tolerate salinity.The health of an aquatic ecosystem is degraded when the ecosystem's ability to absorb a stress has been exceeded.

[7] [edit]Heterotrophic organisms Heterotrophic organisms consume autotrophic organisms and use the organic compounds in their bodies as energy sources and as raw materials to create their own biomass.[6] Euryhaline organisms are salt tolerant and can survive in marine ecosystems. there are giant tube worms (Riftia pachyptila) 1.5m in length and clams (Calyptogena magnifica) 30cm long.found around volcanic vents. For example. [2] [edit] . while stenohaline or salt intolerant species can only live in freshwater environments.

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