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Terrestrial Ecosystems


FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=Minimize" Terrestrial Ecosystems • • Forest Land

UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN REDD) The UN-REDD Programme was launched as a collaborative initiative between the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). The Programme’s main aim is to contribute to the development of capacity for implementing REDD and to support the international dialogue for the inclusion of a REDD mechanism in a post-2012 climate regime. The UN-REDD Programme will initially run until March 2010. Key Facts • • • • REDD was first introduced on the UNFCCC agenda at the Conference of the Parties (COP11) in December 2005 At COP-13, Norway pledged an annual contribution of up to 3 billion Norwegian Kroners (432 million US dollars) towards a global initiative on REDD The challenge is to set up a functioning international REDD finance mechanism that can be included in an agreed post-2012 UNEP hosts the secretariat of the UN-REDD Programme, for which Norway has donated US$ 35 million

Reducing carbon emissions from forests Trees and forests provide us with essential health, recreational, aesthetic, and other benefits, many of which we literally can’t live without. Unfortunately, forest management in some parts of the world has traditionally focused less on the services provided by forest ecosystems and more on the timber that could be produced

This leaves more carbon in the atmosphere and exacerbates global warming At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 13th Conference of Parties (COP-13) in December 2007. We are now losing about 200 square km an equivalent of 18.UN-REDD’s high level collaboration and community level engagement seeks to ensure that local experiences inform the global legislative action that will in turn have impacts on local communities UNEP is also working with some of the countries in the quick start phase in related initiatives such as the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP).Between 1990 and 2005. the rate of deforestation has averaged about 13 million hectares a year. occurring mostly in tropical countries. and Zambia These countries are in the process of developing national strategies.daily The loss of forests releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. focuses on the six countries 1996: Conference on the Dense Moist Forests of Central Africa (CEFDHAC) . accounts for about 17% of global greenhouse emissions. countries need regulatory frameworks. Vietnam. establishing robust systems for monitoring. Panama. equitable incentives . assessment. making it the second largest greenhouse source after the energy sector As the forests disappear. mainly through deforestation. reporting and verification of forest cover and carbon stocks This quick start phase will pave the way for long-term engagement of REDD in the carbon market through payment for ecosystem services. a unique collaborative initiative It seeks to strengthen the international policy dialogue on REDD and build confidence among negotiators and Parties to include REDD in new and more comprehensive climate change agreements after the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012. Indonesia. Tanzania. To facilitate this. Papua New Guinea. the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) teamed up in the UN-REDD Programme. The forestry sector. the project is working on decreasing delivery risk and structuring transparent.100 soccer playing fields . The UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Parties agreed to step-up efforts towards reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in developing countries To effectively combat deforestation and forest degradation. which is set to launch pilot activities to test the potential for achieving UNREDD’s objectives in Central Africa and Southeast Asia Key Facts • • • 1988: Protected area management programme ECOFAC (Ecosystèmes Forestieres D’Afrique Centrale) is born. the natural sink they provide for absorbing of carbon dioxide is lost with them. The UN-REDD programme is also helping nine pilot countries to manage their forests in a manner that maximizes their carbon stocks and maintains their ecosystem services and while delivering community and livelihood benefits Countries that have been identified for the quick start phase are Bolivia. Paraguay. Democratic Republic of Congo.

by Heads of State. an initiative that seeks to maintain forest ecosystem services and maximize their carbon stocks while delivering community and livelihood benefits. The park is home to 50% of the mountain gorilla population and to numerous other endemic and endangered species UNEP’s work in Virunga is part of a broader initiative that is assisting governments in drafting and developing national environmental laws. Her role is to engage donors in high level lobbying on behalf of the Congo Basin Forest Ecosystem. In addition. Central African Republic the Democratic Republic of the Cong (DRC) Equatorial Guinea. shifting agriculture. UNEP is working with Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) to conserve 29 protected areas. Professor Wangari Maathai in her endeavours. second only to the Amazon forest in Latin America. gives birth to COMIFAC 2000: COMIFAC meets for the first time in Yaounde approves the COMIFAC Convergence Plan 2002: The Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) established at the World Summit on Sustainable Development Resuscitating the second lung The Congo basin forest stretches across Cameroon.half of Lesotho . The country is in the process of developing a national strategy for monitoring. Africa’s oldest park.000 plant species. assessment. UNEP is helping countries halt encroachment into DRC’s Virunga National Park. the forest is under serious threat from a combination of factors like illegal logging and settlements. She also serves as the co-chair of the Congo Basin Forest Fund So far the governments of Norway and the United Kingdom have contributed US$ 200 million to the Fund. At 2 million square kilometers. and promote sustainable forestry and community-based conservation in 11 priority landscapes spanning the Congo basin UNEP is supporting the Goodwill Ambassador of the Congo Basin Forest Ecosystem. The Fund is tailored to develop viable alternatives to logging. is one of the nine pilot countries in the UN-REDD Programme.5 million hectares . which is a common vision for sustainable and joint management of the sub-region’s forest resources DRC. Through its Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP). . mining. population growth. However. 280 reptile species. Funded activities will follow guidelines established by the Central Africa Forests Commission (COMIFAC) Convergence Plan. reporting and verification of forest cover and carbon stocks. Iraq. The forest is losing 1. Afghanistan. which hosts 54% of the Congo basin forest. 900 butterfly species and 10. Liberia. Gabon and the Republic of the Congo Some 60 million people from these countries depend on it for their sustenance The Congo basin forest is a natural mosaic of 400 mammalian species.every year To stem this loss. regulations and guidelines. the Nobel Laureate.highlights need for regional collaboration • • • 1999: Yaounde Declaration on the Congo Basin forest. the wide-ranging strategy also includes post-conflict environmental assessment that mirrors similar assessments undertaken by UNEP in the Balkans. oil and mining industries. it is the second largest rainforest in the world. and felling trees for firewood and subsistence farming.

usually through seed dispersal and creation of gaps in the forest canopy This accords them a key status as flagship species. bonobos. former UN Secretary General Great apes live in forest ecosystems of 23 African and Asian countries (range States).000 cubic metres of illegal timber in Indonesia in 2007 In the same year. illegal logging and forest land farming. the High Conservation Value Forest (HCFV ) Land Assessments and models in Indonesia Apart from facilitating the field projects. clean water and much else Indeed. GRASP worked with partners to raise awareness on the impacts of degazetting two forest reserves in Uganda Such e orts assist to protect forests legislatively and socially. gorillas and orangutans) are found in Africa 2009 . have led scientists to suggest that the majority of great ape populations may be extinct in our lifetime. Central and East . in combination with the growth in the commercial bushmeat trade in Africa and increased logging activities in Indonesia. the fate of the great apes has both practical and symbolic implications for the ability of human beings to move to a sustainable future " Koffi Annan.Lebanon and the Sudan Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) Great ape populations are declining at an alarming rate worldwide. Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia. great apes play a key role in maintaining the health and diversity of their ecosystems. GRASP’s actions led to the seizure of 70. With the mantle of ecosystem sustainability draped around their shoulders. we can protect the livelihoods of many people who rely on forests for food.They could vanish from the wild in less than 50 years UNEP’s Great Ape Survival Project (GRASP) aims to conserve viable populations of great apes and their forest habitats through pro-poor conservation and sustainable development strategies. by sensitizing communities on the value of forest ecosystems In line with the Kinshasa Declaration. launched in May 2001 Great apes (chimpanzees. The continuing destruction of habitat.the International Year of the Gorilla and South-East Asia Guarding the forest guardian "Saving the great apes is also about saving people. GRASP provided technical support to 20 range States This support strengthened the policies of national authorities in nine countries It also improved trans-boundary collaboration between seven West. By conserving the great apes. Key Facts • • GRASP is a Type II Partnership (WSSD). medicine and timber Although widespread illegal logging remains a challenge. GRASP provided financial support to twentyseven field projects in the range countries The projects strengthened community participation in biodiversity decision-making in seven range States They also resulted in strengthened wildlife law enforcement in Cameroon. A decline of their populations is a key signal of an underlying decrease of other species in the ecosystems Great apes are faced with unprecedented threats from the combined effects of hunting. water. These forested tropical ecosystems regulate the climate and provide food.

agriculture (cash crops such as tea and rice. Serengeti and Lake Nakuru National Parks UNEP’s assessments also found that for every clearing in the Mau forest. Nakuru. The Mau comprises 16 contiguous forest blocks. the Mau Complex is a natural asset of national importance that supports key economic sectors in Rift Valley and western Kenya.the current annual market value of goods and services from tea. Kenya and the Aberdare combined. Through the ecological services provided by its forests. tourism and energy sectors in the ecosystems Protecting Kenya’s water towers The Mau Forest Complex which at 400. which represents 50% of the current total installed capacity in Kenya USD286 million . as large as the forests of Mt. Baringo. including energy.African range states Such teamwork is the essence of GRASP It plays a key role in GRASP’s e ort to tap into its ability to leverage political support and technical expertise to help mitigate dangers posed to great ape populations and their habitats Mau Forest Complex The Mau Complex forms the largest closed-canopy forest ecosystem of Kenya. Key Facts • • • • The Mau Forest Complex is the origin of the main rivers flowing into five lakes: Victoria. At least twelve rivers spring out from the Mau and flow to different corners of the country. and livestock) and water supply. Turkana. Together with other ecosystem services. tourism. farming and a host of other human activities Mau’s plight became national news when Kenya’s Prime Minister and the Minister FOR Environment overflew the area in UNEP-organized reconnaissance flights What they saw in Mau were vast clearings of land that are manifestation of a dramatically receding forest UNEP is supporting the Government of Kenya through its ecosystem management programme to realign its environmental programmes to tackle the Mau Forests’ degradation UNEP’s assessments have unveiled Mau’s immense value.000 hectares is seven times the size of Nairobi sits on aquifers that provide water to millions of people in the Rift Valley and western Kenya. almost a quarter of this forest has been lost to human settlements. there was another part of the ecosystem . and Natron Over 5 million people live in the sub-locations crossed by these rivers The Mau Complex has a total hydropower potential of 508 MW. illegal logging. subsistence crops. It is the single most important water catchment in Rift Valley and western Kenya. It also includes six satellite forest blocks that are not adjacent to the main blocks but are part of the same ecosystem Over the years. gazetted as forest reserves or trust land forest. the rivers breathe life and vitality into the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve.

or 28. Members of the division Bryophyta (mosses and liverworts). Gases are more available in terrestrial ecosystems than in aquatic ecosystems. . oxygen that serves as a substrate in aerobic respiration. Terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by greater temperature fluctuations on both a diurnal and seasonal basis than occur in aquatic ecosystems in similar climates. Terrestrial ecosystems are distinguished from aquatic ecosystems by the lower availability of water and the consequent importance of water as a limiting factor. is hosting the Community community of organisms and their environment that occurs on the land masses of continents and islands. Although they are comparatively recent in the history of life (the first terrestrial organisms appeared in the Silurian Period. As technical advisor of this Task Force. The availability of light is greater in terrestrial ecosystems than in aquatic ecosystems because the atmosphere is more transparent than water.000 mi2 (144. UNEP has placed on the table a set of technological and development options Based Integrated Forest Resource Conservation and Management Project (COMIFORM) UNEP and its partners are engaging the local community around this forest block in managing the forest COMIFORM aims to help local communities develop alternative sustainable sources of income without reversing the gains made in conserving the forest. and nitrogen that serves as a substrate for nitrogen fixation.that suffered consequences With the advice of UNEP and its other partners. terrestrial ecosystems have been a major site of adaptive radiation of both plants and animals.000 species. which is one of the 16 their own forests in Mau Complex. and the division Pinophyta (conifers). about 425 million years ago) and occupy a much smaller portion of Earth's surface than marine ecosystems. Terrestrial ecosystems occupy 55. thus enabling people to embrace and protect the forest as The Maasai Mau forest. of which there are about 275. a system that clearly defines the stakes that a community has in a forest. and an atmospheric portion from which gases are obtained and where the physical energy of light is transformed into the organic energy of carbon-carbon bonds through the process of photosynthesis. The project is anchored on participatory forest management.150. Major plant taxa in terrestrial ecosystems are members of the division Magnoliophyta (flowering plants). of Earth's surface. Terrestrial environments are segmented into a subterranean portion from which most water and ions are obtained.660.000 km2). of which there are about 500 species. Those gases include carbon dioxide that serves as a substrate for photosynthesis.2%. the government of Kenya has set up a Task Force to conserve these forest ecosystems on which millions of Kenyans depend for sustenance.

which together with grasslands and savannas utilized for grazing are referred to as agroecosystems. and Mammalia (mammals) with approximately 4100 species. See also Food web. Terrestrial food webs can be broken into two segments based on the status of the plant material that enters them. The base of the food web is occupied by green plants.answers. means of transporting the water from limited sites of acquisition to the rest of the body. Major animal taxa in terrestrial ecosystems include the classes Insecta (insects) with about 900.000 species. . Finally. Organisms in terrestrial ecosystems have adaptations that allow them to obtain water when the entire body is no longer bathed in that fluid. and the largest land area is occupied by tropical forest. Ecological communities. Tundra. where less than 5% of net primary productivity may be consumed by herbivores. Detritus food webs are associated with the consumption of dead plant material by detritivores. Those relationships can be summarized by schematic diagrams of trophic webs. are of intermediate extent and productivity. contributing 45% of total estimated net primary productivity on land. The smallest land areas are occupied by tundra and temperate grassland ecosystems. Cultivated lands. a much less buoyant medium than water. Read more: http://www. are also important in some terrestrial ecosystems. Forest and forestry. The relative importance of those two types of food webs varies considerably in different types of terrestrial ecosystems. The organisms in terrestrial ecosystems are integrated into a functional unit by specific. They also have traits that provide body support in the atmosphere. There is one type of extensive terrestrial ecosystem due solely to human activities and eight types that are natural ecosystems. See also Animal systematics. See also Desert. and other traits that render them capable of withstanding the extremes of temperature. dynamic relationships due to the coupled processes of energy and chemical flow. Ecosystem. and the least productive are deserts and tundras. Grazing food webs are associated with the consumption of living plant material by herbivores. Grassland ecosystem. Detritus food webs are more important in forests. Savanna.of which there are about 24. Plant taxonomy. Those natural ecosystems reflect the variation of precipitation and temperature over Earth's surface. Soil ecology. Because of both their areal extent and their high average productivity. the organisms in terrestrial ecosystems have evolved many methods of transporting gametes in environments where fluid flow is much less effective as a transport medium. which are the only organisms capable of utilizing the energy of the Sun and inorganic nutrients obtained from the soil to produce organic molecules. Grazing food webs are more important in grasslands. Aves (birds) with 8500 species. The most productive ecosystems are temperate and tropical forests. which place organisms according to their feeding relationships. and means of preventing the evaporation of water from body surfaces. Taxonomy. and humidity that characterize terrestrial ecosystems.000 species. where over half of net primary productivity may be consumed by herbivores. tropical forests are the most productive of all terrestrial ecosystems.

They can be contrasted with freshwater ecosystems. other marine ecosystems such as coral reefs. estuaries and lagoons. [1] A desert ecosystem may seem devoid of life but even the most arid sand dune has a desert ecosystem unique to its location and climate. burrowing creatures. According to the World Resource Center. rats. See food chains. the deep sea and the sea floor. FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT. With little precipitation a desert ecosystem will at first impression appear to be lifeless and barren. In addition.ALT=Desert Ecosystem" . insects. A desert ecosystem must exist where there is little rainfall and the climate is extreme in harshness. mangrove forests) are among the most productive regions on the planet. provide food and shelter to the highest levels of marine diversity in the world. birds. mangroves and coral reefs. salt marshes. rabbits. In the sand desert ecosystem few large mammals might appear to subsist but the camel is one that we envisage as surviving this environment.. The desert ecosystem supports life forms as varied as any ecosystem on earth. ants.e. and estuarine ecosystems (i. Marine waters cover two-thirds of the surface of the Earth.Marine ecosystems are among the largest of Earth's aquatic ecosystems. Even the sparsest dune has some form of life existing in its hostile environment. They include oceans. beetles and lizards are regular inhabitants of the desert ecosystem. Marine ecosystems are very important for the overall health of both marine and terrestrial environments. Small rodents. coastal habitats alone account for approximately 1/3 of all marine biological productivity. Such places are considered ecosystems because the plant life supports the animal life and vice-versa. moles and fox like creatures can be found in the desert ecosystem. seagrasses. salt marsh and intertidal ecology. Snakes. which have a lower salt content. In reality this is rarely the case.

each one evolved to suit the particular desert ecosystem to which they are endemic. . birds or burrowing creatures. Plants have evolved to have succulent bodies that retain the precious moisture needed for growth. They may not be visible to the untrained eye. The desert ecosystem is a fragile balance of these species that are able to survive in extremes of temperature and moisture.Desert Ecosystem with a Healthy Distribution of Shrubs and Grasses. Any integral part of the balance goes missing and other life forms. or grow in the shade of larger plants. The most common plant featured as part of the desert ecosystem is the cactus. freezing nights. Still others spread across the ground. Human activity can damage the fragile balance of the desert ecosystem. spiders. One of the harshest environments on the planet. Even this plant species can be seen in hundreds of different types. by controlling their body heat. many insects. Others have narrow needle like leaves that do not lose moisture. Any desert ecosystem will have hidden hosts of wild life. such as saltbush and gravillias grow well in a desert ecosystem. lizards and other creatures have managed in the harsh climate. It is vital for any desert ecosystem denizen to adjust to the particular aspects of their environment. Animals and small arachnids. It is vital to know and understand the numbers and the idiosyncrasies of the life forms involved in the food chain of the desert ecosystem before any human activity can intrude on the environment. the desert ecosystem offers many strange and unusual adaptations between plant and animal to ensure their survival. hot days. Other plants. but their presence is essential to keeping the desert ecosystem functioning. plant or animal may find survival impossible. small lizards. Plant life in the desert ecosystem is often dwarfed because of the lack of rain.

although tropical grasslands may receive up to 60 in. The most fertile and productive soils in the world have developed under grassland. the pampas cover much of the interior of Argentina and Uruguay. and in many cases the natural species have been replaced by cultivated grasses (cereals). and drought conditions occur periodically. which extend from southern Texas into Canada. and from sea level to elevations of nearly 16. and is dominated by grasses or grasslike plants. there is at least one dry season during the year. the rainfall gradient decreases from an annual precipitation of about 40 in. and their classification is based on similarity of dominant vegetation.2 × 108 mi2 (4. The soils are rich because rainfall is inadequate for excessive leaching of minerals and because plant roots produce large amounts of organic material. The European meadows cross the subcontinent. In North America. Plants are frequently subjected to hot and dry weather conditions. with well-developed profiles. Because of their continental location they experience large differences in seasonal climate and wide ranges in diurnal conditions. grasslands include the Great Plains. Deep winter cold does not preclude grasslands since they occur in some of the coldest regions of the world. Thus. Significant portions of the world's grasslands have been modified by grazing or tillage or have been converted to other uses. A similar pattern exists in Europe. or prevailing climate conditions. presence or absence of specific dominant species. is characterized by mixed herbaceous (nonwoody) vegetation cover.Grassland ecosystem A biological community that contains few trees or shrubs.400 ft (5000 m) in the Andes. Soils of mesic temperate grasslands are usually deep. and are highly fertile. (20 cm) in the shortgrass prairies at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. which are often exacerbated by windy conditions that increase transpirational water loss from the plant leaves. the success of grasslands in the Mediterranean climate shows that marked summer drought is not prohibitive either. See Savanna Grasslands occur in regions that are too dry for forests but that have sufficient soil water to support a closed herbaceous plant canopy that is lacking in deserts. about 3 ft (1 m). About 1.6 × 107 km2) of the Earth's surface is covered with grasslands. are neutral to basic. and the Eurasian steppe ranges from Hungary eastward through Russia to Mongolia. With less rainfall. which make up about 32% of the plant cover of the world. temperate grasslands usually develop in areas with 10–40 in. In general. have high amounts of organic matter. (25–100 cm) of annual precipitation. (150 cm). (100 cm) along the eastern border of the tallgrass prairie at the deciduous forest to only about 8 in. Vast and varied savannas and velds can be found in central and southern Africa and throughout much of Australia. Grasslands are found primarily on plains or rolling topography in the interiors of great land masses. Growing-season length is determined by temperature in the north latitudes and by available soil moisture in many regions. especially those adjacent to deserts. In North America. grassland soils are shallow. The climate of grasslands is one of daily and seasonal extremes. Mixtures of trees and grasslands occur as savannas at transition zones with forests or where rainfall is marginal for trees. Different kinds of grasslands develop within continents. contain large amounts of exchangeable bases. contain . However.

large animals include various types of deer and elk. and are frequently red to yellow. the animals found in the grassland ecosystem undergo relatively large population variations from year to year. predaceous. ground squirrels. gophers. although many more species are found in the flooding pampas of Argentina than in the dry grasslands of the western United States. See Biomass Throughout the year. shrews. some of which are cyclical and others more episodic. invertebrates. are not entirely understood and may extend over several years. although many of these animals were eliminated in the late 1800s. and vertebrates. Earthworms process organic matter into small fragments that decompose rapidly. and shelter. periodic drought. and many species of invertebrates are predaceous and feed on other invertebrates. water. Soil nematodes. Because of their dense fibrous root system in the upper layers of the soil. When compared with forest soils. seed dispersal. Many depend upon predator–prey relationships. and various species of mice. or saprophagous. and prairie dog. Among intermediate-size animals are the opossum. and scavenging of dead animals. and eat leaves and stems. Except for large mammals and birds. Small mammals of the North American grassland include moles. and more transpiration per unit of total plant biomass. they support more warm-season species. omnivores (opossum). parasite or disease dynamics. grasses are better adapted than trees to make use of light rainfall showers during the growing season. but the ratio of aboveground to below-ground biomass becomes smaller. . greater evaporation. Mammals include both ruminant (pronghorns) and nonruminant (prairie dogs) herbivores. The most characteristic large mammal species of the North American grassland is the bison. Relatively few bird species inhabit the grassland ecosystem. Tropical and subtropical soils are highly leached. have lower amounts of organic material because of rapid decomposition and more leaching from higher rainfall.less organic matter. coyote. Their role in the grassland ecosystem involves consumption of seeds. or weather conditions that influence the organisms themselves or the availability of food. Invertebrates play several roles in the ecosystem. See Soil ecology Most of the reptiles and amphibians in grassland ecosystems are predators. the total above-ground and below-ground production decreases. the complexity of the vegetation decreases. With increasing aridity and temperature. There are many more invertebrate species than any other taxonomic group in the grassland ecosystem. frequently are lighter colored. badger. Grassland soils are dry throughout the profile for a portion of the year. grassland soils are generally subjected to higher temperatures. and predators (wolves). flies feed on plants and are pests to cattle. flowering plants bloom in the grasslands with moderate precipitation. and flowers bloom after rainfall in the drier grasslands. feeding on decaying organic matter. whereas others feed on the roots of plants. For example. and may be more basic. many are herbivorous. rabbit. These variations. skunk. include forms that are herbivorous. scarab beetles process animal dung on the soil surface. grasslands tend to become less diverse in the number of species. fox. See Population ecology Within the grassland ecosystem are enormous numbers of very small organisms. small nonarthropod invertebrates.

Human inhabitants have also routinely started fires intentionally to remove predators and undesirable insects. Thus. classified organisms. Some ecosystems. to improve the condition of the rangeland. From a systems perspective. of the ecosystem increases diversity. releasing carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere and making nutrients available for recycling. polar regions and great oceans. These ecosystems or communities are usually self sustaining. Much of the grassland ecosystem has been burned naturally. You should remember that a forest community is much more than just the sum of its trees. and viruses. also called forest succession. wetlands and grasslands are very fragile and very small changes can effect their health. or unintentionally. This maturing. the greater is its species diversity. grasslands have evolved under the influences of grazing and periodic burning. The word "ecology" comes from the Greek "oikos. coral reefs. and to reduce cover for predators and enemies. meaning "household" or "place to live". Bacteria and some algae also capture nitrogen from the atmosphere and fix it into forms available to plants. Generally. however. When the ecosystem is exploited and exploitation is maintained. A forest ecosystem typically is associated with land masses covered in trees and those trees are often classified by foresters into forest cover types. algae. Larger ecosystems with wide diversity are much more stable and somewhat resistant to harmful changes. fungi. probably from fires sparked by lightning. A forest is a system that supports interacting units including trees. The forest ecosystem is just one of a number of unique ecosystems including prairies. you can assume that the more complex the structure. then . and the species have adapted to withstand these conditions. insects. like tundra. deserts. the grassland will sustain damage that may require long periods of time for recovery by successional processes. the hundreds of species of bacteria and fungi are particularly important because they decompose organic material.including bacteria. I say "usually" because some of these communities can become unbalanced very quickly when detrimental factors occur. animals. A forest ecosystem is one major ecologic unit that exists as "home" for a community of both native or introduced. smaller lakes and rivers. Forest ecosystems tend to always be moving toward maturity or into what foresters call a climax forest. soil. If burning or grazing is coupled with drought. One forestry example of this is growth of trees and the entire system toward an old growth forest. and man. A forest ecosystem community is directly related to species diversity.

It is like a society or community in which all the animals. Management of forests for sustainability is desirable when forest diversity is threatened by overuse. Ecological system or ecosystem is an open space built by physical and biological components of an environment. climate. firstly I want to say that many people are getting confusion in the topic “types of ecosystem” and “component of ecosystem”. But there are only two types of ecosystem which are as follows1. The components of ecosystem and the types of ecosystem both are different. rivers. grassland. Natural Ecosystem The natural ecosystem deals with all kinds of natural components like forest. Forest ecosystems can be disrupted and harmed when not properly sustained. The components of ecosystem are biotic component and a-biotic component. The ecosystem involves a-biotic environment which is also known as physical environment like rocks. atmosphere.the maturity of the forest ecosystem declines. it is classified into two parts. soil. plants. Terrestrial Ecosystem . Types of Ecosystem Here. A sustained forest that is certified by a qualified certification program is assurance that the forest is managed to allow maximum diversity while satisfying the manager's environmental and economic demands. Forest biomes are broad categories of natural tree/plant communities. rocks etc. The ecosystem is the combination of a-biotic and biotic components of environment. plants. air etc. Ecosystem deals with the dynamic relation between living and non-living components. and biotic environment like animals human and trees and all living beings. resource exploitation and poor management. Scientists and foresters have dedicated their entire careers trying to understand even a small part of forest ecosystems. human beings and their environments work simultaneously and interconnect. those are1. there is no involvement of living beings. Further. These natural resource professionals have categorized forest ecosystems in North America by placing them into forest biomes. ranging from dry desert shrub land to large temperate rain forests. river. Complex forest ecosystems are extremely diverse.

Therefore. aquatic ecosystem • 2. river etc and lentic like lake.Marine ecosystem and freshwater ecosystem. and grasslands etc are said to be terrestrial ecosystem. deserts. 2. ditch. trees. All types of artificial ecosystems are introduce and managed by man. Similarly villages. Freshwater. • Tropical evergreen forest: Tropical forests which receive an average rainfall of 80 to 400 inches . All other sub-ecosystems fall under these two. sheltering wild animals and recharging ground water. It is divided into two parts. plants. pond. ditch. cities. This type of ecosystem located in water area located in water area like sea.• • • • All types of forest. Gardens are also artificial ecosystem that are made and maintained by human. towns and aquarium are also made by human. the density of life in forest ecosystems is very high. Terrestrial and Aquatic. lake. We can add any type of plant according to our likeness in the garden. Artificial Ecosystem • • • Natural Ecosystems Different Kinds Of Ecosystem There are basically two types of ecosystems. Ecosystem disposes are purifying water. It is a broad term which is used for the components which are not based on water. pond. river etc. They are again divided into few types. swamp etc. this may be Iotic like stream. pools. Any small change in the ecosystem can affect the whole balance and collapse the ecosystem. pools. They are broadly classified into: The Forest Ecosystem These are the ecosystems where abundance of flora (plants) is seen and they have a large number of organisms living in relatively small areas. The artificial ecosystem is also known as man-made or man-engineered ecosystems. You can see wonderful diversity in the fauna of these ecosystems too. Terrestrial ecosystems Terrestrial ecosystems are found everywhere apart from water bodies.

Many grazing animals. Due to very high temperature. The Mountain Ecosystem Mountain lands provide a scattered but diverse array of habitats in which a large range of plants and animals are found. Aquatic Ecosystems An aquatic ecosystem is an ecosystem located in a body of water. Prairies can be categorized as tall grass. flora and the properties of water too. herbivores and insectivores are found in grasslands. The Grassland Ecosystem Grasslands are found in both temperate and tropical regions of the world but the ecosystems are slightly varying. It is completely devoid of trees and large shrubs. shrubs. . The water in Marine ecosystems has salts and minerals dissolved in them in high amounts. Two main types of grasslands ecosystems are: 1. Trees have spiked leaves to minimize transpiration. few grasses and rarely trees. Taiga is distinguished by evergreen conifers. The animals living here have thick fur coats fro prevention from cold and hibernate in winter months. • • • The Desert Ecosystem Desert ecosystems are found in regions receiving an annual rainfall of less than 25cm. Taiga: Situated just south of the arctic regions. intense sunlight and low water availability. Each level gives shelter to different kinds of animals. The best known desert plants are the succulents like spiny leaved cacti. reptiles. They support large number of grazers and predators. While the temperature is subzero for almost six months. It comprises aquatic fauna. • Tropical deciduous forest: Dense bushes and shrubs rule here along with broad levels of trees. Main vegetation is grasses. At higher altitudes harsh environmental conditions generally prevail. These forests are marked by dense vegetation comprising of tall trees with different levels. Prairies: This is temperate grassland. This type of forests is found in many parts of the world and large variety of flora and fauna are found here. birds. Lower slopes commonly are covered by coniferous forests. 2. and only treeless alpine vegetation is found. They occupy around 17 percent of all land on the planet. This area mainly comprises of grasses with very little amount of shrubs and trees. The Marine Ecosystem Marine ecosystems are the largest ecosystems with coverage of nearly 71% of the Earth's surface and containing 97% of the planet's water. Animal life includes insects. Different divisions of marine ecosystems are: • • Oceanic: The relatively shallow part of the ocean that lies over the continental shelf. Leaves and stems of these plants are modified to conserve water. Temperate evergreen forest: These have very few number of trees but ferns and mosses make up fro them. camels all of whom are adapted to the xeric (desert) conditions. Marine and freshwater. Winters and summers are well defined and with trees shedding their leaves during winter. mixed grass and short grass prairie. legumes and plants belonging to composite a year. flora and fauna are very poorly developed and scarce. There are two types of aquatic ecosystems. Profundal: Bottom or deep water. the rest of the year it is buzzing with insects and migratory birds. Vegetation is mainly bushes. Temperate deciduous forest: This forest is found in the moist temperate regions with sufficient rainfall. Savanna: These tropical grasslands are seasonally dry with few individual trees.

pools. Faster moving turbulent water typically contains greater concentrations of dissolved oxygen. Wetlands: Places where the soil is saturated or inundated for at least some time. cephalopods. corals. Lotic: Fast-moving water like streams and rivers. Based upon the particular kind of habitat.g. sea or ocean (deep bodies) and estuary (shallow bodies). ponds. and sharks. There are three basic types of freshwater ecosystems: • • • Lentic: Still or slow-moving water like pools. dinoflagellates. forest. freshwater which may be Iotic (spring.• • • • • • Benthic Bottom substrates. reptiles and almost 41% of world’s fish species.g. ditch. Inter-tidal: The area between high and low tides. Estuaries Salt marshes Coral reefs Hydrothermal vents-where chemosynthetic bacteria form the food base. The Freshwater Ecosystem In contrast to the Marine ecosystem.) b. e. . grassland. These operate by themselves under natural conditions without any major interference by man. etc. e. Aquatic which is further distinguished as: a. stream or river) or lentic (lake. freshwater ecosystems only cover 0. which supports greater biodiversity than the slow moving water of pools. desert 2. These ecosystems are home to amphibians.009% of its total water. these are further divided as: 1. and lakes. echinoderms. swamp. Marine. pond. Terrestrial.8% of the Earth's surface and contain 0. Many types of organisms are found in marine ecosystems including brown algae.

cities. croplands such as sugarcane. e. wheat. orchards. natural balance is distrurbed regularly. maize. . aquarium and manned spaceship. dams. They are maintained artificially by man where. villages. by addition of energy and planned manipulation.g.Artificial Ecosystems They are also called man-made or man-engineered ecosystems. gardens. rice-fields.