What is an Ecosystem, Functions And Types of Ecosystem?
Concept Of An Ecosystem
Our environment is enriched with various living and non-living natural resources. Amongst them, the biotic community undergo a life cycle that starts from birth and ends in death. This life cycle can flourish in such an environment which is full of food, nutrients, energy, and their continous flow. Such a system is termed as ‘ ECOSYSTEM’.
An ecosystem is the smallest unit of biosphere. It possesses all the characteristics required to sustain life. An ecosystem is a cluster of natural resources and living organism. It implies a group of plant, animal and their wastes, minerals and nutrients; and flow of food, nutrients and energy from one region to another , forms an ecosystem. Grasslands, deserts, forests, villages and cities, lakes, steams are some of the example of an ecosytem. There are many types of ecosystem on our earth. They are small and large both.
Types Of Ecosystem
several kinds of ecosystem operate in biosphere. They are broadly, grouped into:
The natural ecosystem operates automatically under the activities of natural conditions. In natural ecosystem, there is a continued and rapid exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide. The concentration of these elements varies from season to season. The type of vegetation influences the climate and soil structure. The industrial and automobiles generated air pollutants are trapped by leaves of the trees and converted into harmless compounds.Main among them are the following:
- Forest ecosystem: Depending on the climatic conditions, rainfall, temperature and other factors. Ecosystem is very complex. some have too much wild animals, some have too much wild animals, some have tall trees.
- Desert ecosystem: Desert refers to an area in which the rainfall isnegligible and the rate of evaporation is very high.
- Grassland ecosystem: Based on the type of major vegetation, grassland ecosystem is terrestrial type ecosystem.
2. Artificial ecosystem
Such ecosystem are the creation of human beings. They do so for their conveience in order to fulfill certain needs. The kinds of species and the size of artificial ecosystem may vary widely. A few example of artificial ecosystem may be enumerated as follows.
- A waste water treatment plant
- A cooling water spray pond in the thermal power station
- Agriculture fields filled sprinkled wiyh pesticides
Functions Of Ecosystems
An ecosystem performs the following functions:
- It allows flow of biological energy i.e controls the rate of production
- It controls the rate of nutrient cycles i.e production and consumption of minerals.
- It allows circulation of chemical element along characterristic paths from environment to organism and back to environment.