The Greek word ‘Oikos’, meaning home, and ‘systema’, meaning system, give rise to the term ecosystem, which represents a limited space where living beings interact or collaborate with each other and depend on environmental factors such as water, temperature, humidity, etc., for their survival.
An ecosystem can be of various types depending on its size. For example
- It can be small which is called a micro-ecosystem eg. Pond.
- It can be of medium size ecosystem eg. A forest.
- It can be of large size known as biome eg. A tropical rainforest.
The ecosystem is made of 2 factors i.e., biotic and abiotic components. Biotic components are the factors that are living factors that affect the ecosystem. Abiotic factors are those factors that are nonliving and affect the environment and ecosystem. Both components maintain an equilibrium in the ecosystem.
- Biotic components
- Abiotic components
Biotic components are the living things that have a direct or indirect influence on other organisms in an environment. For example plants, animals, and microorganisms and their waste materials.
Abiotic components of an ecosystem include all chemical and physical elements i.e. non-living components. Abiotic components can vary from region to region, from one ecosystem to another. They mainly take up the role of life supporter. They determine and restrict the population growth, number, and diversity of biotic factors in an ecosystem. Hence, they are called limiting factors.
Components of Ecosystem
We will consider an ecosystem from a structural perspective. An ecosystem consists of biotic and abiotic components. We observe that organisms living in any ecosystem are nowhere identical, but can be categorised into species. These species provide their contribution towards an ecosystem. The example would include the number of species, number of individuals of each species and their distribution across an ecosystem.
Then comes the functional component of an ecosystem. It comprises of:
- Abiotic factors
- Biotic Factor
Food Chain and Web
A food chain is a chain that shows how organisms are linked to each other through various foods and energy levels. Whereas a food web shows how food chains are connected to each other. A single food web can consist of one or more food chains. Usually, a food chain starts with a producer and ends with a top carnivore animal. Therefore the trophic level of an ecosystem is attained when the energy flows from one level to another level in a food chain. The producers come as the first trophic level which is followed by Harvey was that are considered as primary consumers and then small Carnivorous was never considered as a secondary consumer and finally the large Canvas is considered as cursory consumers which occupy the fourth trophic levels.
At all levels, all the resources will be equally distributed and all the living and nonliving organisms live in harmony with each other. It results in maintaining a healthy food chain and a healthy ecosystem.
FAQs about Ecosystem Components
An ecosystem is a system in which living organisms interact with each other and with their environment. It includes both biotic components (living organisms) and abiotic components (non-living factors).
Biotic components are the living organisms within an ecosystem. They include plants, animals, and microorganisms. These organisms directly or indirectly influence other organisms and contribute to the functioning of the ecosystem.
Abiotic components are the non-living factors within an ecosystem. They include physical and chemical elements such as temperature, sunlight, water, soil, air, nutrients, and minerals. Abiotic components provide the necessary conditions and resources for the survival and growth of biotic components.
Biotic and abiotic components are interconnected and influence each other in an ecosystem. Biotic components rely on abiotic components for resources like water, nutrients, and energy. Abiotic components, in turn, can be influenced by the activities of biotic components. This interaction between biotic and abiotic components maintains the balance and functioning of the ecosystem.
Producers, also known as autotrophs, are organisms that can produce their own food through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. They convert energy from sunlight or chemicals into organic compounds, providing the foundation of the food chain. Examples of producers include plants, algae, and some bacteria.
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