What is an Ecosystem?
An ecosystem is a community of organisms that interact with each other and non living components for sustainable development and adaptation to changing conditions. There are different type of ecosystems around us which involves living organisms and non living organisms. If we combine all the ecosystems present on earth, it is called Biosphere.
Components of an Ecosystem:
There are two components of an ecosystem; Living components and non living components.
Living Components: Living components in an ecosystem are either producers or consumers. They are also called biotic components. Producers can produce organic components e.g. plants can produce starch, carbohydrates, cellulose from a process called photosynthesis. Consumers are the components that are dependent on producers for their food e.g. human beings and animals.
Non Living Components: Non living components are the physical and chemical factors that directly or indirectly affect the living components e.g. air, water, land, rock etc. Non living components are also called Abiotic components.
Physical factors includes sunlight, water, fire, soil, air, temperature etc.
Chemical factors includes moisture, salinity of water, soil nutrients, oxygen dissolved in water etc.
Classification of Ecosystems:
Due to the Abiotic factors, different ecosystems develop in different ways. These factors and their interaction between each other and with biotic components have resulted in formation of different types of ecosystems as explained below.
- Tropical Rain-Forests
- Temperature Forests
- Tropical Seasonal Forests
- Temperate Deciduous Forest
- Woodland and Shrub Land
- Boreal Forest
- Temperate Grassland
- Cultivated Land
- Extreme desert, Rock, Sand and Ice
- Desert/Semi-desert Shrub
- Open Oceans
- Lakes and Streams
- Continental Shelf
- Estuaries and Brackish Waters
- Swamp and Marsh
- Upwelling Zones
- Algal beds and Reefs
Embedded below is a video tutorial on types and components of an ecosystem