Meaning of ecosystem
An ecology is a functional unit of nature where living organisms interact among themselves and also with the surrounding physical environment.
Benefits of ecosystem
- Supportive: Ecology provides a supporting role for all its members. In this role, for others living members serve as food. Provision: Ecology is also the source of all foods, store of all energy fibre, genetic resources, medicines, fresh water and minerals. All natural resources that humans depend on have their source from ecosystems.
- Regulation: The function of a healthy ecology ensures that there is balance and regulation in the climate, regulation in freshwater, soils, rocks and temperature.
- Spiritual value: Ecology provides humans with deeper spiritual enrichment and cognitive development.
An ecology is a functional unit of nature. Many ecologists regard the entire biosphere as a global ecology. Forest, grassland and desert are some of the examples of terrestrial ecology. Ponds, lakes, wetland, river and estuary are some of the examples of aquatic ecology. Crop fields and aquariums are also considered as man-made ecology.
Stratification is nothing but different species occupying different levels of vertical distribution is known as stratification. Trees occupy forest, shrubs, herbs and grasses occupy the bottom layers of the top vertical strata or layers.
The components of the ecology are seen to function as a unit when we consider the following aspects:
- Energy flow
- Nutrient cycling.
The decompositions are the fungi, bacteria and flagellates. Towards the higher trophic levels there will be unidirectional movement of energy.
- Productivity: A constant input of solar energy is the basic requirement for any ecology to function and sustain. Primarily production is defined as the amount of biomass or organic matter produced per unit area over a time period by plants during photosynthesis.
- Gross primary productivity: During photosynthesis process the rate of production of organic matter. Gross primary productivity minus respiration losses(R) is the net primary productivity(NPP) GRP-R=NPP
- Secondary productivity: It is defined as the consumer rate of formation of new organic matter.
Primary productivity depends on the environmental factors, availability of nutrients and photosynthetic capacity of plants. Productivity of the whole biosphere is approximately 170biilion tons of organic matter. In the 70percent of the surface area, the productivity of the oceans is only 55billion tons. Decomposers break down complex organic matter into inorganic substances like carbon dioxide, water and nutrients and this process is known as decomposition.
- Fragmentation: Earthworms break down detritus into smaller particles so this process is known as fragmentation.
- Catabolism: Catabolism is nothing but degrading detarius bacterial and fungal enzymes into small inorganic substances is known as catabolism.
- Decomposition is an oxygen-requiring process: By chemical composition the rate of decomposition is controlled. Temperature and soil moisture are the two important climatic features that regulate decomposition through their effects on the activities of soil microbes.
All animals depend on plants for their food needs so they are called consumers. If they feed on the producers, the plants, then they are called primary consumers. If the animals eat other animals they are known as secondary consumers. Primary consumers will be herbivorous common herbivores are insects, birds and mammals etc.
Amount of energy decreases at successive trophic levels. Each trophic level has a certain mass of living material at a particular time is known as standing crop mass of living organisms(biomass).
The gradual and fairly predictable change in the species composition of an area is called ecological succession. The entire sequence of communities that successively change in a given area called sere.
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