 Forest Ecosystem

(Terrestrial Ecosystem)

 Forest Ecosystem:
 A forest is an area with a high density of trees.
World’s total land area is 13,076 million hectares - (Source: FAO; 1989) Of which total forests account for about 31% of the world’s land area. In India, the forest cover is roughly 19% of the total land area. The forest ecosystem are of great concern from the environmental point of view.  It provides numerous environmental services like;  Nutrient cycling,  Maintaining biodiversity  Providing wildlife habitat  Affecting rainfall patterns  Regulating stream flow  Storing water  Reducing flooding  Preventing soil erosion Forest Ecosystem  Reclaiming degraded land & many more….    

 Forest Ecosystem:
 Apart from environmental values, forest ecosystems have some traditional values as well.  Examples are:  Fire Wood & Timber.  Fruits.  Gums.  Herbs & drugs.  The various components of a Forest Ecosystem are:

 Biotic components: The various biotic components,
1) Producer Organisms:

representatives from the three functional groups, of a forest ecosystem are:

 In a forest, the producers are mainly trees.  Trees are of different kinds depending upon the type of forest developed in that climate.

 Apart from trees, climbers, epiphytes, shrubs and ground vegetation.  Dominant species of trees in major types of forest ecosystems are: Tectona grandis, Acer, Betula, Picea, Pine, Cedrus.

2) Consumers:
 In a forest, consumers are of three main types;

a) Primary Consumers:
 These are Herbivores which feed directly on producers. E.g. Ants, Beetles, Bugs, spiders etc. feeding on tree leaves. Larger animals such as Elephants, Deer, giraffe etc. grazing on shoots and/or fruits of trees.

b) Secondary Consumers:
 These are carnivores and feed on primary consumers. These include Birds, Lizards, Frogs, Snakes, Foxes, etc.

c) Tertiary Consumers:
 These are secondary carnivores and feed on secondary consumers These include top carnivores like Lion, Tiger, etc.

) Actinomycetes (Streptomyces. pseudomonas. nutrients are released for reuse.3) Decomposers:  These include wide variety of saprotrophic micro.. etc. Bacteria (Bacillus Sp. Fusarium. . etc).  They attract the dead or decayed bodies of organisms & thus decomposition takes place.  Therefore. Ganoderma sp.) Fungi (Aspergillus sp...  In addition dead organic debris is also found littered in forests. Clostridium sp.. etc.  Abiotic components:  These include basic inorganic & organic compounds present in the soil & atmosphere.organism like.

Components of Forest Ecosystem:  Producers: Different tree species Consumers in a Forest Ecosystem  Decomposers in a Forest ecosystem .

 Grassland Ecosystem (Terrestrial Ecosystem) .

USA) Pampas (South America) Steppes (Europe & Asia) Veldts (Africa) Grassland ecosystem. .Grassland Ecosystem:  Grasslands (also called Greenswards) are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous (non-woody) plants. Usually seasonal  The principal grasslands include: Prairies (Canada.  Grasslands occur in regions too dry for forests and too moist for deserts  The annual rainfall ranges between 25.  Grasslands occupy about 24% of the earth’s surface.75 cm.

and The antelope & other large herbivores of Africa  The various components of a grassland Ecosystem are:  Biotic components: Three functional groups which are: 1) Producer Organisms:  In grassland. The highest abundance & greatest diversity of large mammals are found in these ecosystems. Herds of Bison of America. . producers are mainly grasses.  Some of the most common species of grasses are:  Brachiaria sp.. Cynodon sp. Digitaria sp.  The dominant animal species include Wild horses.. though. asses & antelope of Eurasia. Desmodium sp.. a few herbs & shrubs also contribute to primary production of biomass.

Buffaloes. c) Tertiary Consumers:  These include hawks etc. Lizards. Foxes. Goats. Snakes. These are grazing animals such as  Cows. Birds. a) Primary Consumers:  The primary consumers are herbivores feeding directly on grasses. termites.  Besides them. Frogs. consumers are of three main types. which feed on secondary consumers.2) Consumers:  In a grassland. numerous species of insects. etc are also present. Deer. Rabbits etc. Jackals etc. . Sheep. b) Secondary Consumers:  These are carnivores that feed on primary consumers (Herbivores)  These include.

 The essential elements like C. . nutrients are released for reuse by producers. N. S etc.  Abiotic components:  These include basic inorganic & organic compounds present in the soil & aerial environment.3) Decomposers:  These include wide variety of saprotrophic microorganism like: Bacteria. sulphates. nitrates. nitrogen. O. are supplied by water. H. P. phosphates present in soil & atmosphere. Actinomycetes  They attract the dead or decayed bodies of organisms & thus decomposition takes place. Fungi.  Therefore.

Components of Grassland Ecosystem: Producers: Different grass species Consumers of Grassland ecosystem Decomposers in a Grassland ecosystem .

Asia (Thar.  Deserts are characterized by scanty flora & fauna.  It occupy about 17% of the earth’s surface.  Soils of deserts often have abundant nutrients but little or no organic matter.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 millimeters per year. Mexico. Gobi.  Deserts are characterized by hot days & cold nights. Tibet ) & west Asia.  The deserts of the world are mainly located in the South. . North America.western United States.

some grasses & a few trees. producers are mainly shrubs/bushes.  Besides some lower plants such as lichens & xerophytic mosses are also present.  Dominant plant species include: Succulents (water retaining plants adapted to arid climate or soil conditions ) & hardy grasses. . The various components of a Desert Ecosystem are:  Biotic components: 1) Producer Organisms:  In a desert.

decomposers are poor in desert ecosystem. reptiles which are capable of living in xeric conditions  Besides some nocturnal rodents. . birds & some mammalians like camel etc are also found.  Abiotic components: Due to high temperature & very low rainfall. 3) Decomposers:  Due to poor vegetation with very low amount of dead organic matter. the organic substances are poorly present in the soil.2) Consumer Organisms: These include animals such as insects. most of which are thermophillic.  The common decomposers are some bacteria & fungi.

Components of Desert Ecosystem: Producers of Desert Ecosystem Consumers of Desert Ecosystem .

Aquatic Ecosystems .

carbon dioxide & oxygen are present in gaseous form whereas in aquatic ecosystem. . these are available in dissolved state.Aquatic Ecosystems: Aquatic ecosystems deal with biotic community present in water bodies. In terrestrial ecosystem. the aquatic ecosystem are categorized into: Freshwater Ecosystem and Marine Ecosystem. Depending upon the quality and nature of water.

attenuate floods. especially in coastal region.  Freshwater ecosystems contain 41% of the world's known fish species.8% of the Earth's surface and contain 0.  There are three basic types of freshwater ecosystems:  Lentic: slow-moving water. recharge ground water and provide habitats for wildlife.  Wetlands: areas where the soil is saturated with water or inundated for at least part of the time . purify water. and Lakes. including Pools.  Lotic: rapidly-moving water. and are very important to the tourism industry. for example Streams and Rivers. Ponds. For example:  They recycle nutrients.  Aquatic ecosystems are also used for human recreation.  Aquatic ecosystems perform many important environmental functions.Freshwater Ecosystems:  Freshwater ecosystems cover 0.009% of its total water.

 Lakes are usually big standing freshwater bodies. called Profoundal zone. an open water zone where effective penetration of solar light takes place.  They have a shallow water zone called Littoral zone. called Limnetic zone and a deep water zone where light penetration is negligible.Lakes & pond Ecosystem:  A pond is a place where living organisms not only live but interact with biotic & abiotic components.  Ponds are often exposed to tremendous anthropogenic pressure which significantly affects the system. Pond ecosystem Lake ecosystem .

other protozoan. to the minerals. Spirogyra.) and minute floating and suspended lower phytoplanktons (like. 3) Decomposers: Micro – organisms like bacteria. some dead organic matter is also present. flagellates. Ulothrix.  Abiotic component:  These are the inorganic as well as organic substances present in the bottom soil or dissolved in water. Typha etc. fungi and actinomyctes. . Azolla. small crustaceans) and benthos. b) Secondary consumers: These are carnivores like insects and fishes feeding on herbivores c) Tertiary consumers: These are the large fishes feeding on small fishes. Utricularia. In addition.) 2) Consumer Organisms: a) Primary consumers: These are zooplanktons (ciliates. Biotic components: 1) Producer Organisms:  It includes submerged. Oedogonium etc. Hydrilla. free floating and amphibious macrophytes (like. Wolfia.

 The salt concentration in an open sea is usually 3. devoid of light.Marine or Ocean Ecosystem:  Marine ecosystems are among the Earth's aquatic ecosystems.5% (35 parts per thousand (ppt) ). They include: Oceans. Mangroves and Coral reefs.  Average temperature of Marine ecosystem is 2-3 degree centigrade. . the Deep sea and the Sea floor.  These ecosystem is different from freshwater ecosystem mainly because of its salty water. Dominant ions are sodium & chloride.  These are the gigantic reservoirs of water covering approximately 71% of the Earth's surface (an area of some 361 million square kilometers). Estuaries and Lagoons.

) 2) Consumers: a) Primary consumers: These are herbivores and feed directly on producers (Crustaceans. and mangrove vegetation (like Rhizophora. Carapa etc. Haddock.) b) Secondary consumers: These are carnivorous fishes(Herring. Mollusks. Zostera. angiosperms like Ruppia. fish etc. etc. . variable dissolved oxygen content. fungi  Abiotic components:  High Na. light & temperature make a unique physiochemical conditions in marine water. dinoflagillates).). Sahd and Mackerel) c) Tertiary consumers: These are top carnivorous fishes (Cod. Biotic components: 1) Producers: It includes phytoplanktons (diatoms. posidonia etc. phaeophyceae & rhodophyceae. Ca. Mg and K salt concentration.) 3) Decomposers: These are micro – organisms like bacteria. large seaweeds (mainly algae like chlorophyceae.

Inside Marine or Ocean Ecosystem: .

 ENERGY is stored in glucose.  Photosynthesis -.  Because. it is the first step in the production of energy for living things.  Glucose is stored as starch in plants .Energy flow in ecosystem:  All organisms must obtain a supply of energy and nutrients from their environment in order to survive.Chemical reaction where green plants use water & carbon dioxide to store the sun’s energy in glucose. it is called “Primary production”.  The transformations of energy in an ecosystem begin first with the input of energy from the sun.

• The energy contained within producers and consumers is ultimately passed to the decomposers that are responsible for the constant recycling of nutrients.Energy flow in ecosystem: • The majority of autotrophs are photoautotrophs that harness the energy of the sun and pass some of this energy onto consumers through feeding pathways. there is a one-way flow of energy through the biotic community and a cycling of nutrients between the biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem . • Thus.

 Only About 1% of energy from the sun is used by green plants & rest remains unutilized. first trophic level) to Heterotrophs including plant eaters or Herbivores (second trophic level) and so on.Energy flow in ecosystem:  Energy flow cannot occur in reverse direction.  Starts from autotrophs (the producer level.  Similarly. i. there is loss of energy in each trophic level.e.  The amount of energy decreases with successive trophic levels. Fig: Energy flow in a system ..

food webs. all the organisms are linked together with one another by food relationship. pyramids of numbers. “ the transfer of energy and nutrients through a series of organisms with repeated process of eating and being eaten”. biomass and energy and energy flow diagrams.  In an ecosystem.  Each organism living or dead is potential food for some other organism.Energy flow in ecosystem:  The transfer of food energy between the organisms in an ecosystem can be tracked by constructing food chains. Food Chain:  A food chain may be defined as. .


Food Web in Grassland Ecosystem . the linear arrangement of food chains hardly occurs & these remains connected interconnected with each other through different types of organisms.Food web:  Under natural conditions.  Interlocking pattern of several interlinked food chains is termed as FOOD WEB.

Lizards Rabbit. Hawk Snakes. Mice Tertiary Consumers Secondary Consumers Primary Consumers Producers Larger fishes Bigger fishes Smaller Fishes Phytoplankton Pond Ecosystem Grasses Grassland Ecosystem .Ecological Pyramids:  An ”Ecological pyramid” is a graphical representation that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a food chain or food web.  An ecological pyramid shows the relationship between consumers and producers at different trophic levels in an ecosystem  There are three ecological pyramids recognized by ecologists: 1) Pyramid of Numbers: Shows the relative number of individual organisms at each trophic level.

Fungi. Birds.Lion Tiger Snakes. Actinomycetes Lice & Bugs (Parasites on Herbivores) Fruit eating birds. Deer etc Fruit eating birds Large Tress Large Trees Forest Ecosystem Parasitic food chain 2) Pyramid of Biomass:  A pyramid of biomass represents the total dry mass (in grams per square metre of area) of all the organisms in each trophic level at a particular time. . Fox Bacteria.

Rabbit Elephant. Tiger. Cows Sheep. Water beetles etc. etc. Deer etc. Birds etc. Zooplanktons Phytoplankton's Carnivores Herbivores Producers Pond Ecosystem . Carnivores Herbivores Producers Lion. Frogs. Deer.Snakes. Grasses Grassland Ecosystem Trees Forest Ecosystem Fish.

2) Pyramid of Energy:  A pyramid of biomass represents the rate of energy flow and/or productivity at successive trophic levels. The pyramid of energy are always upright. Tertiary Consumers CARNIVORES Secondary Consumers CARNIVORES Primary Consumers HERBIVORES Producers .

 The cyclic movements of chemical elements of the biosphere between the organisms and environment are referred as “BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES” Nutrient cycle Gaseous cycle Sedimentary cycle Gaseous cycle: Those elements in which the reservoir is the air or the oceans (via evaporation). phosphorus.Nutrient Cycles:  Nutrient cycles involve storage and transfer of nutrients through different components of the ecosystem. Gaseous cycles include those of Carbon. The major nutrients like C. calcium.H. Nitrogen. sedimentary cycles include those of iron. Oxygen. so that the nutrients are repeadly used. . Sedimentary cycle: Those elements which are received from the Earth’s crust. and Water. and other more earth bound elements.O and N are cycled again and again b/w biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem.

 Nitogen cycle completes in 5 steps: 1) Nitrogen Fixation: Conversion of N2 → NH3:  Combustion. Nostoc etc.78% in Atmosphere  N2 is very stable and must be broken apart by organisms. volcanic action. Clostridium. combined with other atoms into a usable form. NH4. . Industrial processes (making fertilizer). or NO3 and incorporate them into nucleic acids and protein. Lightning.Nitrogen Cycle:  Nitrogen is crucial for all organisms  Nucleic acids  Proteins  Chlorophyll  Nitrogen. 3) Assimilation: Roots absorb NH3. Bacteria (Azotobactor.) 2) Nitrification: NH3 → NO3 Soil bacteria convert in a two step process.

4) Ammonification: Amino acids and nucleotides are broken down into waste products NH3 or NH4 5) Denitrification: The reduction of NO3 to N2 Denitrifying bacteria return some of the nitrogen to the atmosphere .

Wet & dry Atmospheric Nitrogen Nitrogen fixation by free living & symbiotic microbes. Denitrification Pseudomonas deposition Consumers Plants Detritus Ammonification Heterotrophs Soil ammonia Nitrosomonas Soil nitrite Litter fall Uptake Nitrification Nitrobacter Soil nitrate Fig: Nitrogen Cycle .

Fig: Nitrogen Cycle .

and convert carbohydrates to carbon dioxide as a result of respiration. and erosion of limestone return carbon to the atmosphere.  Photosynthesis removes carbon from the abiotic environment (fixes carbon into organic molecules)  Carbon moves through food chain through consumption of one organisms by another  Cellular respiration. combustion. water and abiotic environment. etc.. as CO2  Bacteria process carbon in a fashion that allows it to be recycled.Carbon Cycle:  Carbon enters plants.  Obtain energy from the molecules. .

RESPIRATION AIR CO2 PLANTS DEATH RESPIRATION FOOD WOOD FOSSIL FUEL ANIMAL BURNING COMBUSTION Fig: Carbon Cycle The source of atmospheric carbon dioxide are variable but only plants can utilize atmospheric carbon directly .

Fig: Carbon Cycle .

Fig: Carbon Cycle .

is released from rocks and sediments through the action of erosion.  Soil PO43. • Dissolved PO43.by consumption of other animals and from water. Guano . • Some returns to terrestrial environment through geologic processes and via seabirds.gets absorbed by algae and aquatic plants • Decomposers break down waste and returns PO43.  PO43.to sediments on the seabed.is released to the soil again by decomposers.  Animals obtain most of their PO43. phospholipids and ATP.is absorbed by plants and incorporated into nucleic acids.The Phosphorous Cycle:  The only cycle that does not have a gaseous state  Inorganic phosphate PO43.

Parental Rock Soluble PO43.in soil. (orthophosphates) Bacteria Weather Insoluble phosphate Plants (Roots) Animals Death Bacterial Decomposition Bone/ Teeth Decomposition Fig: phosphorus Cycle .

Fig: Phosphorous Cycle .

Fig: Phosphorous Cycle .

 Excretion and death. volcanic eruption etc. carry sulphur back to the soil.is absorbed through plant roots. Insoluble SO4 H 2S Bacteria SO4.The Sulphur Cycle:  Sulphur cycle Covers both gaseous and sedimentary.  Sulphur enters the atmosphere from several sources.  Sulphur is a soluble form mostly SO4.the combustion of fossil fuels. where it is processed in protein formation..- Plants Death Archebacteria Animals Fig: Sulphur Cycle . where it is acted upon by bacteria to detritus food chain.