The definition of ecosystem is a system that is formed by a community of organisms interacting with their environment. Both living and nonliving things within a particular area make up the ecosystem.
In nature, ecosystems can range in size from small ponds or a tree to larger areas like a desert. Everything in that area, from water and soil to animals and plants, make up an ecosystem. Even climate, light and air play important roles. If there is not enough light or the right nutrients in the soil to support plant life, the plants can die. This can cause a chain reaction that kills animals and destroys the ecosystem.
Natural disasters, changes in climate and human interactions can cause problems in an ecosystem. Because of this, healthy ecosystems are home to many different species. This helps protect the ecosystem from significant damage in the event something bad happens.
Ecosystems are formed of producers, consumers and decomposers. Producers, like green plants, make their own food. This allows animals to eat the plants to get their energy and other animals to get energy from eating other consumers. Decomposers are the plants and animals that help break down other plants and animals when they die. This helps to put nutrients into the soil that help future generations of plants to grow and start the cycle over.Learn More
Producers are able to make their own food and do not rely on the ecosystem for nourishment. Examples of producers include photosynthetic microbes and plants.Full Answer >
One common interaction between biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem is photosynthesis. Sunlight is abiotic (solely energy), and it fuels the synthesis of sugars and proteins inside plant cells once it is taken up by plant leaves.Full Answer >
The abiotic, or non-living, factors that affect an ecosystem include the local temperature, light intensity, geology and presence of pollutants. Additionally, factors such as the pH of the soil and the types of gases that are dissolved in a body of water are non-living factors to which living organisms must adapt. The weather conditions of an area are abiotic factors that influence the functioning of ecosystems.Full Answer >
Biotic environments consist of all living things in an ecosystem. All of the plants, animals, fungi and microbes in an environment are said to be its biotic component. The biotic component is distinguished from the abiotic, or nonliving, component, which is mainly comprised of the mineral, chemical and energetic components of the environment such as water, sunlight and soil.Full Answer >