Interesting Facts I Bet You Never Knew About Ecosystems

Photo by Barkah Wibowo on Unsplash

We all work in ecosystems that affect the way the organism operates and how others can live in the same place. Simple choices like buying groceries or going home constantly can affect our ecosystem and our dependence on them. The ecosystem’s health impacts our everyday lives, from our diets to vacations.

Humans should be mindful of preserving natural ecosystems because they provide valuable services essential to human well-being. For example, natural ecosystems play a critical role in regulating the Earth’s climate, purifying water and air, and providing food. More importantly, they help control pests and diseases and support people’s cultural and spiritual needs.

Introduction

The official definition of an ecosystem comes from Oxford Languages. The ecosystems are also known as habitat, biomass, or biosphere. There are various types of ecosystems everywhere, from the Eurasia steppes to African grasslands. Each unique ecosystem supports its own natural life, resulting in a system where a particular organism depends upon another for survival.

There are numerous different ecosystems that each possess an individual set of animal or plant species. This ecosystem consists of two major areas: the terrestrial and the aquatic ecosystems.

Ecosystem Facts

The natural system is composed of living and non-living organisms where every component combines in biological, physical, or chemical ways. Natural ecosystems are distinctive because they are sincere, and their formation isn’t affected by humans.

Ecology is a complex word and therefore includes artificial ecosystems subjected to human activities that necessitate differentiation. The parts facilitating interactions within the natural ecosystem have soil, plants, sun, air, water, microorganisms, and animals.

What is an Ecosystem

An ecosystem is the structure and function of the ecosystem in which organisms and surrounding environments interact. Generally speaking, ecosystems are a chain of interactions between organisms and their environmental system. The concept of an ecosystem was attributed first to a British botanist, A. g Tansley in 1935. Learn more about the nature of ecosystems and their functions in this article.

The structure of ecosystems reflects both biological and abiotic factors. This includes generating power at the environmental level, and climate conditions are also included within this context.

Different Types of Ecosystems

Living and non-living organisms and their surrounding environment are called ecosystems. Different ecosystems are specific to a particular area and all organisms & environmental interactions. The atmospheres and other elements in this world make up the ecosystems, mainly landscapes and nature.

Biotic components

Biotics refers to any life form within an ecosystem. Based on the nutritional content, biochemical elements can have different categories — the autotroph, the heterotroph, and the saprotroph.

Abiotic components

The abiotic component is an organism’s non-living component, consisting of oxygen, water, soil minerals, and nutrient sources such as light and air.

Functions of Ecosystems

The ecosystem’s functions include: It contributes to circulating nutrients in biotic and organic forms and maintains equilibrium between different trophic levels within ecosystems. Moreover, it cycles minerals across biospheres. Also, it supports the synthesis and exchange of organic materials involving energy exchange between organisms.

How many ecosystems does Earth have

The world ecosystem comprises 431 ecosystems, including 278 natural / semi-natural vegetation combinations and various types of wooded areas, shrubs, grasslands, bare areas, or Ice / Snow.

Examples Of An Ecosystem

If you’re looking to learn about ecosystem examples, this informative resource will teach you about different types of ecosystems and how they work. You’ll learn about the benefits of a healthy ecosystem, and this is essential reading for anyone interested in environmental science or ecology.

Aquatic ecosystems (Water-based)

In a water ecosystem living things cannot survive outside the water. In the aquatic environment, fresh waters and seawater exist in different ways. Freshwater refers to water that is not salty and contains only a few small quantities. Marine ecosystems live in saltwater, including marine flora and fauna, coral sands, coral reefs, and tidally protected areas.

Terrestrial Ecosystems (Land-based)

In the terrestrial environment, a living or nonliving organism lives on Earth and resides in the soil and the air surrounding it. The above ecosystems are divided into different ecosystem types; see below.

Desert ecosystems

Desert habitats can be cold during the night but warm during the day. The region is not prone to any rainfalls annually. Deserts cover about half the Earth’s surface and lie within temperates. Due to the extreme weather conditions, the desert is populated merely by small mammals. An example is an animal that can withstand heat and store enough moisture.

Many desert animals sleep nocturnally and spend most of their time underground at night. Examples are the scorpion talons, desert snakes & desert tortoises. Deserts are sparsely populated and adapt to desert conditions.

Tundra Ecosystem

Tundra is endemic to polar regions of the Atlantic Ocean. Vegetation in Tundras is composed mainly of dwarf trees and bushes. The soil is frozen permanently, preventing tree growth throughout the area. During hot seasons, the tundra covers lakes and swamps. Because tundra ecosystems have a cold climate, the biodiversity of their wetlands is low, so only some plants and animals can be adaptable to the prevailing environmental condition.

Shrubland Ecosystem

Shrublands are often called scrubland due to their high abundance of bare plants. The ecosystem is derived from the transitional plant community in the region and may also occur when causing damage in the forest by natural or fire. Other interactions which lead to plant growth are nutrient-poor soils, drought, or aridity. Because these conditions are very prevalent in temperate, semiarid, and continental climates, shrublands are commonplace in such regions. Heath provides an excellent example of shrubland on free-draining infertile acid-rich soil in humid or subhumid zones.

Tropical Rainforest Ecosystem

The tropical rainforests occur close to the equator, in the middle of the Tropic. These regions have incredibly high rainfall and high yearly average temperatures, and several areas have a high humidity lower during wet seasons than wet seasons. As a result, these tropical forests have high biodiversity that supports some of nature’s best plants and animals. Because of the position near the equator, these are excellent conditions to survive. However, the soils in tropical rainforests have little nutrient density due to their short-term lack of retention.

Lotic Ecosystem

All water types form lotic ecosystems. The ranges include a spring to a large stream. The water flow is unidirectional in constantly changing its physical condition. At any scale, many Spatio-temporal micro-habits exist with high variability in lotics. Many plants and animals interact with the lotic structures. Various plants are native to this area and thrive under flowing conditions.

Lotic ecosystems have two significant zones, rapids with rapid water flows and pools with shallow waters and slower currents.

Woodland is the land containing trees in general meaning as it is in a limited sense associated with wood, a small density forest, and forms open habitats with ample daylight but limited. Woodlands can contain the understory of shrub and herbaceous plants, such as grass. Woodland can become shrubland in dry conditions and early in primary or secondary succession in early succession phases. High-density areas with a mainly closed canopy providing extensive, almost uninterrupted shade are called forests.

Littoral ecosystems

This ecological structure exists along the shores of lakes and rivers. They are often called inland areas, where the tide has little effect on water quality. Water availability in those ecosystems allows broader plant and animal life and extensive habitat formation. Extreme humidity caused by evaporation enables different types of organisms. Aquatic plants get classified according to their tolerance to depth, and their examples include aquatic plants, marsh, dry meadows, and wooded drylands.

Grassland Ecosystem

Grasslands include temperate prairies and tropical swamplands. In temperate grasslands, the soil has deep black layers with fertile upper layers supporting the plants’ growth. Savannahs, however, live in hot or cold climates with relatively low rainfall, and the mud is porous in the savannah. The predominant vegetation consists of grazing and scattered vegetation and tree species.

Grasslands contain numerous animal species like zebras, gazelles, wolves, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, etc.

Temperate Forest Ecosystem

The temperate forest ecosystems comprise temperate coniferous forest, a large evergreen forest, and temperate deciduous forest, which mainly loses leaves. This natural ecosystem is most prevalent between the tropics and the arctic region. It is significant, broad-leafed, and tall with big leaves. This forest consists primarily of maple, oak, redwood, birch, pine, and beech, and these parts are undergrowth. Moderate rainfalls and dense humidity characterize tropical forests during warm months.

Coral reefs

Coral reefs are a group of diverse aquatic ecosystems that exist across oceans, both profound. Coral reef covers about a percent of the ocean floor. Reef coral is also called the “large cities” of the sea or “rainforests of water.” The coral reef is the most productive ecosystem because it has diverse and complex marine habitats that support many marine species. They serve as the breeding grounds for fish and protect it while providing nutrients until their young can reach the sea.

The salt marsh habitat gets flooded between open saltwater and ground in the upper coastal intertidal zone. It, therefore, belongs in the coastal environment. Its abundance of salty plants is unique to the region, including grassy plants and low shrubs. The ecosystem supports several species of terrestrial animals and offers protection from coastal areas. They are also crucial to fisheries as they provide nutrient retention in the coastal waterways.

Lentic Ecosystems

These are the Stillwater habitats. Lakes can be an excellent example, and they can range anywhere from lakes to large oceans. This ecosystem has four regions. The open water areas, the deepest water regions without light, and the bottom and coastal zones are all subject to various circumstances. Thus, they host species specially adapted for living in these regions, forming layers of different ecosystem types.

Taiga Ecosystem

Tiga ecosystems are sometimes called boreal and snow forests. This ecosystem makes up 29% of all forest cover. They appear at all north-central latitudes, with significant regional variations. Notably, they have subacid Subarctics subalpine, needle-leaves. The Taiga Ecological System has a long winter and comparatively short winter. Taiga soil has poor nutrition because of the cold, which hinders soil growth.

Mangrove swamp

The ecosystem consists of shrub or tree growth on saline shorelines and brackish waters. Mangrove plants and shrubs are extraordinarily salt-tolerant and adapted to harsh coastal conditions like low oxygen and contaminated waters. It has complex root systems capable of handling water immersions and wave actions. The mangrove swamp occurs mainly in tropical tidal or subtropical waters.

Bottom Line

Humans have long relied on natural ecosystems for their livelihoods. For example, many traditional cultures depend on fish and other animals from the oceans, forests, and ecosystems for food. In addition, people use plants and trees for fuel, construction materials, and traditional medicines.

However, human activities are putting increasing pressure on natural ecosystems. For example, converting forests to farmland reduces the carbon dioxide absorbed by trees and other vegetation. Industry increases the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and contributes to climate change. In addition, unsustainable fishing practices are causing fish stocks to decline, and pollution from mining and other industries harms water quality.

Conservation

As natural ecosystems come under increasing pressure, humans need to take steps to preserve them. One way to do this is to support the conservation of natural areas. Protection involves creating protected areas, such as national parks, where human activities are restricted to allow ecosystems to thrive. Another way to preserve natural ecosystems is to promote sustainable practices, such as sustainable forestry and fisheries. Sustainable practices ensure that human activities do not degrade ecosystems and that they can continue providing the benefits humans need.

Conclusion

So, what have we learned? An ecosystem is a community of different species interacting with each other and their environment. There are many ecosystems, from rain forests to coral reefs to tundra. The more we know about our environment and the creatures that live in it, the better equipped we will be to protect these delicate systems. Check out our other environmental articles for more information on how you can help preserve our planet’s ecosystems.

Originally published at https://viableoutreach.com on July 15, 2022.

--

--

Avid reader and activist

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store