Ecosystem | Components of an Ecosystem

ECOSYSTEM

Ecosystem is a self-contained unit comprising of (Plants, Animals and Decomposers), that make up the living environment and (Soil, Water and Air) that make up the non-living environment.  An Ecosystem requires Sunlight energy for its functioning.  Types of Ecosystems are – Grasslands, Forests, Deserts, Mountains, Ponds, Rivers and Lakes or Seas.

Grasslands, Forests, Deserts, Mountains form what is called the Terrestrial Ecosystem (Land Based Ecosystem) and Ponds, Rivers, Lakes and Seas form the Aquatic Ecosystem (Water Based Ecosystem)

 




Components of Ecosystem

  • Abiotic Components (Non-Living)
  • Biotic Components (Living)

Abiotic Components

These include the Physical Environment like Soil, Water, Air and Physical factors and Climatic factors like Temperature, Light, Humidity, Pressure.

Biotic Components

This comprises of a community of organisms (Plants and Animals) made up of many inter-dependent populations. Producers, Consumers and Decomposers are 3 types.

 

A) PRODUCERS

Also called Autotrophic organisms as they produce their own food from simple inorganic substances like Carbon Dioxide and Water by using Sunlight Energy in the presence of Chlorophyll.  Examples are Green Plants and Blue Green Algae.




B) CONSUMERS

These Organism consume (eat food) prepared by Producers.  All organisms are consumers.  From Microscopic organism like Protozoa to Man.  Food produced by plants is directly consumed by animals like Goats, Cattle, Antelopes etc.  These animals are referred to as direct consumers.  These animals are then eaten or consumed by other animals like Dogs, Big Cats and Humans, which obtain their energy indirectly by eating the animals. Consumers are divided into 3 categories.

The Categories of Consumers are Herbivores, Carnivores and Omnivores

1.Herbivores

These are Plant eating organisms and are called Primary consumers as they obtain their food directly

from producers.  Eg. Cow, Goat, Sheep, Deer, Rabbit, Elephant.

2.Carnivores

These are meat eating organisms and obtain their food from the Herviroes, and as they obtain their food

from Primary Consumers, they are called Secondary Consumers.  Eg. Lion, Cat, Dogs, Falcon, Eagle,

Snake.




3.Omnivores

These rely on both Plant and Animals for their food source.  In other words, they eat both plants and meat

for their sustenance.  Eg. Man, Bear, Crow, Ants.

C) DECOMPOSERS

Organisms like Bacteria and Fungi which are incapable of producing their own food, live off the dead and decaying plant and animal bodies.

Importance of Decomposers:  They play a vital role in Decomposing plant and animal bodies and act as cleansing agents of the Environment.  The nutrients they absorb into their system is returned back to the soil, which is then used by plants for manufacturing their food.

Decomposers help by continuing the process of the Cycle of Life and Death.  If they were not present then all Plant and Animal life would cease to exist.  Hence, Evolution would not take place.

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