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Ecosystem

What is an ecosystem and its importance?

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An ecosystem is the biological community of all living things communicating with the physical environment. The ecosystem also includes nonliving things. Furthermore, the ecosystem is the chain of interactions among living beings and their environment.

The ecosystem study concerns the relationship between man, animals, and the environment. The ecosystem is not only about the land but comprises the ocean, river, mountains, etc. Read and learn everything you need to know about the ecosystem.

Components of an ecosystem

The ecosystem size often varies. Sometimes, the ecosystem can be as small or vast as an ocean. In some cases, the ecosystem can be as small as an oasis. Check out the components of an ecosystem below.

Biotic components

The biotic components in the ecosystem are the living things that influence the reactions of other organisms in the environment. Furthermore, the biotic components include plants, animals, microorganisms, etc. Not to mention, these living things directly and indirectly influence the environment. 

Abiotic components

Unlike the biotic components, the abiotics are non-living things. The abiotic components consist of chemicals and physical elements in the ecosystem. Meanwhile, abiotic components differ in each region. The abiotic components in the ecosystem system often reduce the growth of the population of biotic components. Based on this, the abiotic components are referred to as limiting factors. They determine the diversity of the biotic components in the ecosystem.

Types of ecosystem

The ecosystem is grouped into several types, but two are more familiar. Sometimes, ecosystems are classified based on the energy they use. Check out the two major types of ecosystems below.

Terrestrial ecosystem

As the name implies, the terrestrial ecosystem has to do with land, i.e., the earth’s surface. The terrestrial ecosystem has different forms and the living things that occupy them, too. For instance, some terrestrial ecosystems consist of animals and microorganisms, while others are a combination of man and animals. In addition, the food chain is different, just like the landforms. The terrestrial ecosystem has less water but enjoys improved solar availability. 

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Aquatic ecosystem

An aquatic ecosystem consists of water bodies like lakes, oceans, and seas. The aquatic ecosystem consists of amphibians, fish, sea creatures, etc. The belief is that the terrestrial ecosystem is more vast than the aquatic ecosystem. Unfortunately, that assertion may not be correct because water occupies more areas of the earth. In other words, the aquatic ecosystem is larger than the terrestrial.

Importance of an ecosystem

The word ecosystem means the flow of energy and matter through habitats like biotic and abiotic components. More so, it is interactive and becomes a community when several living things come together. See the importance of an ecosystem below.

Vital for ecological processes

The ecosystem is vital for ecological processes and energy flow. Also, the ecosystem supports life and ensures its stability. Without a habitable ecosystem, there wouldn’t be growth. 

Food 

The ecosystem provides food for the living things inhabiting it. Moreover, without food, the living things in the ecosystem cannot survive. For example, the ecosystem balances the food chain. While living beings provide carbon dioxide for plants, plants give oxygen in return. 

Clean air and water

There is no living thing that can survive without air and water. The ecosystem provides living beings with water to drink and enough to carry out other activities. The air in the ecosystem is taken in as oxygen for living things. A populated air would affect the health of the inhabitants of an ecosystem. 

Activities of humans that affect the ecosystem

There are several ways human activities affect the ecosystem negatively. Unfortunately, humans are the highest beneficiary of the ecosystem’s goodies, but their activities tend to harm it more.  

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Burning fossil fuels

The environment has suffered immensely because of the burning of fossil fuels. The biggest challenge is that humans create the impression that no activity can be carried out without the use of fossil fuels. The emissions from fossil fuels have caused a lot of damage to the climate. Nevertheless, with the introduction of electric and solar-powered engines, the use of fossil fuels may decrease. 

Deforestation

Humans have relied on the forest for several needs. Some raw materials, like trees, leaves, herbs, etc., are used to meet several needs of man. For instance, paper is made from trees. Most of the medicines you buy from pharmacies are products of herbs and trees. Nevertheless, the only way to stop deforestation is to plant five trees for anyone you fall. 

Soil erosion

One of the things that causes soil erosion is the mining of minerals. Studies show that the illegal mining of minerals has also caused more harm than good. Unfortunately, mining doesn’t seem like it will stop any time soon. Mining destroys soil formation and structure. The only remedy is to reduce illegal mining because they don’t follow standard ways.

Conclusion

The earth is the only place that living things can inhabit for now. Although man has traveled to the moon and other planets, there is no discovery that man can exist on those planets. Therefore, keeping the ecosystem safe for continuous habitation is important.

 

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