Ecosystem

An ecosystem is a natural unit consisting of all plants , animals and micro-organisms (biotic factors) in an area functioning together with all of the physical (abiotic ) factors of the environment . Ecosystems can be permanent or temporary. An ecosystem is a unit of interdependent organisms which share the same habitat. Ecosystems usually form a number of food webs .
The term ecosystem was coined in 1930 by Roy Clapham to mean the combined physical and biological components of an environment. British ecologist Arthur Tansley later refined the term, describing it as "The whole system,… including not only the organism-complex, but also the whole complex of physical factors forming what we call the environment”. The study of ecosystems mainly consists of the study of certain processes that link the living, or biotic, components to the non-living, or abiotic, components. Energy transformations and biogeochemical cycling are the main processes that comprise the field of ecosystem ecology. Ecology generally is defined as the interactions of organisms with one another and with the environment in which they occur. We can study ecology at the level of the individual, the population, the community, and the ecosystem. Components of an Ecosystem Example of abiotic and biotic components and there relation.
ABIOTIC COMPONENTS Sunlight Temperature Precipitation Water or moisture Soil or water chemistry (e.g., P, NH4+) etc. BIOTIC COMPONENTS Primary producers Herbivores Carnivores Omnivores Detritivores etc.

Examples of ecosystems Aquatic ecosystem, desert ecosystem, forest ecosystem are some examples of ecosystem and they are describe below. Aquatic ecosystem An aquatic ecosystem is an ecosystem located in a body of water. Communities of organisms that are dependent on each other and on their environment live
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in aquatic ecosystems. The two main types of aquatic ecosystems are marine ecosystems and freshwater ecosystems.

Marine ecosystem Marine ecosystems cover approximately 71% of the Earth's surface and contain approximately 97% of the planet's water. They generate 32% of the world's net primary production. They are distinguished from freshwater ecosystems by the presence of dissolved compounds, especially salts, in the water. Approximately 85% of the dissolved materials in seawater are sodium and chlorine. Seawater has an average salinity of 35 parts per thousand (ppt) of water. Actual salinity varies among different marine ecosystems. Freshwater ecosystem Freshwater ecosystems cover 0.8% of the Earth's surface and contain 0.009% of its total water. They generate nearly 3% of its net primary production. Freshwater ecosystems contain 41% of the world's known fish species. There are three basic types of freshwater ecosystems: 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. Desert ecosystem A desert is a landscape or region that receives almost no precipitation. Deserts are defined as areas with an average annual precipitation of less than 250 millimetres (10 in) per year, [1 ][2 ] or as areas where more water is lost by evapotranspiration than falls as precipitation. Forest ecosystem A forest is an area with a high density of trees. There are many definitions of a forest, based on the various criteria. These plant communities presently cover approximately 9.4% of the Earth's surface (or 30% of total land area) in many different regions and function as habitats for organisms, hydrologic flow modulators, and soil conservers, constituting one of the most important aspects of the Earth's biosphere. Although a forest is classified primarily by
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trees a forest ecosystem is defined intrinsically with additional species such as fungi. A woodland, with more open space between trees, is ecologically distinct from a forest.

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