An ecosystem is where a community of living organisms (such as plants and animals) live together in conjunction with non-living aspects of their environment. Ecosystems contain biotic and antibiotic elements, joined together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Climate and landscape affect habitats and the interactions of various species.
Three Types of Ecosystems
Each of these ecosystems can hold a huge variety of habitats. This accounts for the wide range of plants and animals on Earth. Let’s have a look at some of the main systems:
Freshwater ecosystems include wetlands, ponds, reservoirs, lakes, rivers, and groundwater. Freshwater is an ideal resource as it can be used for many things, including agriculture, sanitation, and transportation. Plus, freshwater is drinkable and helps sustain many organisms, including reptiles, birds, mammals, worms, fish, and amphibians. Plants, phytoplankton, and algae are also abundant and form the skeleton of the freshwater food cycle.
Ocean ecosystems cover around 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Marine ecosystems include the oceans, coral reefs, and coastal areas. These ecosystems differ from freshwater as the water contains salt. Plants and animals living amongst these types ofecosystemmust therefore be tolerant of salt. Many fish, such as flounder, sea bass, whales, and dolphins, are examples of the diverse animal life in the ocean.
A terrestrial ecosystem is a network of plants, animals, and other organisms that live on land. They have less water available to survive than the different types of ecosystems. Water can be a limiting factor for survival for some species. These ecosystems endure great movements in temperature, which the lifeforms must adapt to or be tolerant of. Here, gases are necessary to keep life going. Animals need oxygen, while plants require carbon dioxide. Terrestrial environments include grasslands and forests, providing many items humans need to survive. These include food and materials for shelter or clothing.