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Project on

Ecosystem
With particular reference to Bangladesh

Prepared for:
Dr. Khairul Azam
Faculty,
ENV107
North South University

Prepared By:

Date of submission :
3/12/2008
Al Amin Redwanur Rahman 081162030
Table of Content

Sl No Topic Name Page No.


1 Introduction 1

2 Entities of ecosystem 2

2.1 Energy Flow and food chains in 3


ecosystem
3 Ecosystem of Bangladesh 4

3.1 Different types of ecosystem in 5


Bangladesh
3.1.1 Aquatic ecosystem 5

3.1.1.1 Marine ecosystem 6

3.1.1.2 Freshwater 7
ecosystem
3.1.2 Soil ecosystem 8

3.1.3 Forest ecosystem 9

4 Ecosystem in different area 10

4.1 Urban area 10

4.2 Rural area 10

5 Ecosystem: state of equilibrium 11

6 Conclusion 12

Introduction:
A healthy environment is mandatory to for the survival of living things. Without a
healthy environment non-living things also can’t exist. To have a healthy environment, a
balanced ecosystem is essential. Without a balanced ecosystem, healthy environment is
not possible. An ecosystem is a geographical area of a variable size where both living and
non-living settings co-exist, interact & affect one another. Ecosystem encompasses all the
parts of a living environment, including the plants and animals, and the non-living
components, such as water, air and solar energy. Ecosystems can vary greatly in size.
Some examples of small ecosystems are tidal pools, a home garden, or the stomach of a
cow. Larger ecosystems might encompass lakes, agricultural fields, or stands of forests.
Landscape-scale ecosystems encompass larger regions, and may include different
terrestrial (land) and aquatic (water) communities. Ultimately, all of Earth's life and its
physical environment could be considered to represent an entire ecosystem, known as the
biosphere.

Entities of the ecosystem:


An ecosystem is based on two entities. One is living things and another is non-living things.
Living things are plant, human being, animals and insects. And non-living things are land, water,
temperature, air, rock, solar energy. We can divide the entities of ecosystem in 4 parts.

1) Hydrosphere (water)

2) Lithosphere (rock & soil)

3) Atmosphere (air)

4) Biosphere (human & other living organism)

Biosphere can be divided into two parts:

a) Producers are autotrophic photosynthetic organisms. They can produce their own food.
In terrestrial ecosystems, producers are predominantly green plants but inn freshwater
and marine ecosystems, dominant producers are algae.

b) Consumers are heterotrophic organisms that depend on producers for food. Among 4
types of consumers herbivores feed directly on green plants which are primary
consumers. Carnivores feed on other animals and are secondary or tertiary consumers.
Omnivores feed on both plants and animals; for example, humans eat both leafy
vegetables and beef. Decomposers are organisms of decay and they are mostly bacteria
and fungi.

There are some cycles in ecosystem. Without those cycles ecosystem will collapse. Those cycles
are:

1) Oxygen Cycle

2) Hydrological Cycle

3) Nitrogen Cycle

4) Phosphate Cycle

5) Biogeochemical cycle

If single of these cycle breaks down, whole ecosystem will break down.

Energy Flow and food chains in ecosystem:


The sun is the ultimate source of energy for nearly all life. From solar energy producers
makes food and this energy flows to others by food chain & food web. Food chains
indicate who eats whom in an ecosystem. It represents one path of energy flow through
an ecosystem. Ecosystems have numerous interconnected food chains. In a food chain,
each level of producer and consumers is a tropic level. Some primary consumers feed on
plants and make grazing food chains; others feed on detritus.

Ecosystems in Bangladesh:
Ecosystem of Bangladesh includes all living & non-living things like people, animal,
forest, land, river, Bay of Bangle. Bangladesh has a great ecosystem as its floodplains
form one of the world's most important wetlands. These wetlands are home to hundreds
of species of unique plants, fish, birds and other wildlife. People of Bangladesh are also
dependent on these wetlands. These wetlands provide critical habitat for migrating birds
and most importantly a source of income and nutrition for millions of people in
Bangladesh. The floodplain fishery plays a vital role in cushioning rural poverty and
supplying animal protein to the poor and is an integral part of the culture and lifestyle of
the Bengali people.
Different ecosystems of Bangladesh:
Ecosystem of Bangladesh can be divided into three types. Three types of ecosystem are:

 Aquatic Ecosystem

 Soil Ecosystem

 Forest Ecosystem

Aquatic Ecosystem:

Bangladesh is a country of river. It has more than 300 rivers. Beside, lots of ponds exist
in land area. Again it’s located by the side of Bay of Bangle. That means Bangladesh has
a rich aquatic ecosystem. We can divide aquatic ecosystem of Bangladesh into two. They
are:

• Marine

• Fresh water
Marine ecosystem of Bangladesh:

The location of the landward boundary of the coastal zone is a function of three basic
geophysical processes: tidal fluctuations; salinity; and risk for cyclone and storm surges.
The coastal zone of Bangladesh, affected by these processes, covers an area of 47,201
km, or 32% of the country, being the landmass of 19 districts. Around 35 million people,
representing 29% of the population, live in the coastal zone. Many of the coastal
inhabitants are poor, and the population is exposed to both natural disasters and man-
made hazards. Climate change and sea-level rise, induced by global warming, also
compromise the ecological stability of the coastal zone.

The coastline is 710 km long, composed of the interface of various ecological and
economic systems, including mangroves, estuaries, islands, accreted land, beaches, a
peninsula, rural settlements, urban and industrial areas, and ports. The territorial,
contiguous and exclusive economic zones extend 12, 18 and 200 nautical miles
respectively out into the Bay of Bengal. The continental shelf reaches a breadth of 350
nautical miles. It is characterized by low salinity; predominantly muddy, sandy or
muddy-sand bottom conditions and high freshwater and sediment discharge. So far, 475
fish species of 133 genera, 5 spp. of marine turtles, 24 shrimp spp. of 5 families, 50 spp.
of crabs, 301 spp. of marine mollusks, and some 20 spp. of seaweed have been recorded
here. However, the ecology and distribution of most of these species are almost unknown.
Lentic water ecosystems (standing water) cover around 3% of the coastal zone area. In
combination with lotic water systems (running water), they support an extremely rich and
diverse fish fauna: 260 spp. of indigenous freshwater, bony fish belonging to 145 genera
and 55 families have been recorded so far. In addition, these ecosystems support a very
large population of commercially important freshwater shrimp.

Freshwater:

Bangladesh is a land of river. It was more than 300 rivers and lots of ponds. So it has a
large freshwater ecosystem. We can divide freshwater ecosystem of Bangladesh in three
basic types:

• Lentic: slow-moving water, including pools, ponds and lakes.


• Lotic: rapidly-moving water, for example streams and rivers.
• Wetlands: areas where the soil is saturated or inundated for at least part of the
time.

The majority of the natural ecosystems of Bangladesh are wetlands. Intricate networks of
rivers that drain into and inundate Bangladesh have created many riverine ecosystems in
the country. The haors in the north-eastern parts of Bangladesh are probably the most
complex of seasonally inundated
wetlands. They switch between a
vast basin of water during the
monsoon and a well-networked
system of smaller wetlands
including biecls and khals in the summer. Surface water is the most severely impacted
natural resource in the country.The haor basin is known for its rich biodiversity. There is
little doubt that the seasonally inundated wetlands are amongst the most productive
ecosystems. Among the whole haors are Considering the ecological value of the haor, the
Tanguar haor has been declared a Ramsar site and an Ecologically Critical Area. The
largest haor in the country is Hakaluki Haor, which extends over 18,000ha during the
rainy season, and consists of more than 80 inter-connected beels. The rich fish resources
of Hakaluki support one of the largest inland fisheries in the country. Tanguar is an
important “mother fisheries area”, where many species breed during the rainy season.

Soil ecosystem in Bangladesh:


Before knowing about the soil ecosystem we should know about what is soil. Soil is the product
of organism and climate acting on rocks. It is a complex, intimate mixture of minerals, organic
matter, and organisms. Many kind of organisms (e.g. plants, microbes, vertebrate and invertebrate
animals) are part of soil ecosystem. Plants are the ultimate source of carbon, which is a critical
structural component of soil and source energy fueling the processes that occur with in the soils.
Understanding the role of the soil in the farm ecosystem, knowing how to manage the land, are
critical and difficult tasks facing the organic farmer.

Soil ecosystem of Bangladesh refers to the micro animals live in the soil and how they interact
themselves. In undisturbed soil, leaves and other organic debris accumulate on the where they
broken down by the decomposers. Aerobic bacteria and certain small animals begin the process.
These organisms are joined by fungi, mites, springtails, small insects, other arthropods and
earthworms assist the process by consuming, mixing and transporting materials. Biological
activity is greatest when the soil is worm. Rhizophere organisms like plants roots leak or exude a
large number of organic substances and continually slough off root caps into the soil. The most
group of larger soil organisms are earthworms. Earthworm performs the final task of
mummification the conversion of decomposed organic matter to stable human colloids. In the
process of borrowing, earthworms mix the subsoil with the topsoil and deposit their nutrient-rich
castings on or near the soil surface. The presence of a large earthworm population indicates good
soil fertility. Mites are the most abundant of the soil arthropods. Most mites are beneficial,
feeding on micro-organisms and other small animals.
Forest ecosystem in Bangladesh:
A forest ecosystem is a natural unit consisting of mostly plants, animals and micro-
organisms in forest area and functions together with all of non-living physical factors of
the environment. Logically, trees are an important component of forest research but the
wide variety of other life forms and abiotic components in most forests means that other
elements, such as wildlife or soil nutrients are often the focal point. Among forest
ecosystems of Bangladesh, Sundorban is major. The Sundarban, covering about one
million ha in the delta of the rivers Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna at the point where it
merges with the Bay of Bengal, is the single largest block of tidal halophytic mangrove
forest in the world shared between Bangladesh (62%) and India (38%), which supports a
large, biodiversity-rich unique ecosystem. With its array of trees and wildlife the forest is
a showpiece of natural history. It is also a center of economic activities, such as
extraction of timber, fishing and collection of honey. The area of Sundarban experiences
a subtropical monsoonal climate with an annual rainfall of 1600-1800 mm and severe
cyclonic storms. Enormous amount of sediments carried by the three rivers contribute to
its expansion and dynamics. Salinity gradients change over a wide range of spatial and
temporal scales. The Sundarban is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways,
mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests, and presents an excellent
example of ongoing ecological processes. The area is known for its wide range of flora
and fauna. The most famous among these are the man-eating Royal Bengal Tigers, but
numerous species of birds, spotted deer, crocodiles and snakes also inhabit it. The
mangroves have been extensively exploited over centuries for timber, fish and prawns,
honey, fodder, or converted for paddy and aquaculture and now it faces the serious
challenges for its existence. Javan rhino, wild buffalo, hog deer, and barking deer are
already extinct from the area. While conservation efforts have focused on wildlife,
particularly tiger, through creation of several sanctuaries and a biosphere reserve, reduced
freshwater inflows are a serious threat as salinity is rising. Heritiera fomes (from which
Sundarban derives its name), Nypa fruticans and Phoenix paludosa are declining rapidly.

Ecosystem of urban area:


An ecosystem of urban society consists of several species. Cities are embedded in a larger
ecosystem. But like any life supporting system; a city must need basic ecosystem needs. This is
accomplished through the connections between city and surrounding environments. Ecosystem of
big cities in Bangladesh like Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi includes its population, ponds
& rivers, roads & highways, offices & factories, transport and other facilities. People from these
areas depend mostly on rural ecosystems for food & other daily necessaries. People from
different part of the country come to these areas. Demand for food & housing is increasing.
That’s why lots of skyscrapers are being built. As a result quantity of forest area & aquatic area
like ponds & rivers are being destroyed.

Ecosystem of rural area:


In rural area of Bangladesh like northern part of the country & other village are totally different
from town area. Rural area ecosystem includes its population, fields, plants, cannels & ponds and
other biotic and abiotic factors. People in these areas produce food and other crops and supplies
the excess of their need.
People of rural area mostly
depend on agriculture
& faming. They destroy forest in
order to make house and
collect fuel. They also destroy bio-
diversity by hunting wild life.
Farmers use pesticides that enter in
& pollute the environment.

Ecosystem : State of equilibrium ?????


If we look see the whole scenario of ecosystem in Bangladesh, we will find a
misbalanced situation. People are migrating to cities more and more. But cities don’t
have enough ability to provide shelter, food & cloth. As a result skyscrapers and slums
are being made. Also cities can’t provide everyone’s livelihood. As a result number of
crime is increasing. People are becoming more dishonest. So a particular class of people
is becoming rich. They don’t care other people. Again number of factories & vehicles
are increasing. These factories & vehicles increase carbon-di-oxide in atmosphere. As a
result temperature is getting high.

In rural area, ecosystem is not in balance too. Number of land is becoming less. Productivity of
land is going down. People are cutting down the forests. The nestling place of bird & living place
of wildlife are being destroyed. Many species have already faced extinction. Many more species
are on the way to extinction. Chemicals and pesticides that are used in agriculture contaminates
with river & pond water. As a result water gets polluted and people suffer from different disease
and often die if they use polluted water.

Climate of Bangladesh is changing. It’s becoming a threat to us. Most damaging effects of
climate change are floods, salinity intrusion, and droughts that are found to drastically affect crop
productivity almost every year. Due to climate change, fresh water will become scare, sea water
level is rising, river banks are wearing down, chance to earthquake have increased.

Considering all these factors, we can say that ecosystem in Bangladesh is not in state of
equilibrium.

Conclusion:
It is well recognized to both the scientific and negotiating community that Bangladesh would be
one of the most adversely affected country to climate change. Low economic strength, inadequate
infrastructure, low level of social development, lack of institutional capacity, and a higher
dependency on the natural resource base make the country more vulnerable to climate stimuli
(including both variability as well as extreme events). That’s why we need to restore the state of
equilibrium in our ecosystem. State of equilibrium in ecosystem is needed to have a healthy
environment and sustainable future. We can do restore the state of equilibrium in our ecosystem
by doing followings:

1) Ensuring sustainability

2) Having stewardship

3) Using sound science

The ecosystem concept is the heart of managing sustainability. When we try to safeguard species
or manage living resource so that they are sustainable, we must focus on the ecosystem and make
sure that it continues to function. The strategic goals and objectives of future coping mechanisms
are to reduce unfavorable effects of climate change including variability and extreme events and
promote sustainable development. Future coping strategies and mechanisms are suggested based
on existing process and practices keeping main essence of adaptation science which is a process
to adjust with adverse situation of climate change. Sharing knowledge and experiences of existing
situation is a great way for stewardship. Development of techniques for transferring knowledge
and experiences from one area/ecosystem is also necessary. If stewardship & application of
science doesn’t work together, it’s not possible to make future sustainable and restore state of
equilibrium in ecosystem.

The End