An ecosystem is the community of biological organisms, where they interact with their physical environment.
That is the correct definition, but we could sum up this definition by saying that an ecosystem is the set of living things in a place, plus that place .
Types of Ecosystems According to the Environment
As we have seen there are many types of ecosystems and it would be impossible to classify them all but there are some general classifications that can be used for their study. Let’s look at several main ways of classifying ecosystems.
1. Aquatic Ecosystem
They are made up of plants and animals that live in the water. These ecosystems differ in relation to the geographic region where they exist (Antarctica, Subantarctic, tropical and subtropical) and their proximity to the land (coastal, oceanic and estuarine ecosystems).
Aquatic (as well as terrestrial) ecosystems can vary widely in size from an ocean to a pool of water. There are also aquatic ecosystems of salt and fresh water.
This kind of ecosystem talk about living things in the water. The organisms acquire physical characteristics very similar to each other as a result of their adaptation to the water. In this ecosystem the variations of temperatures are not very marked, reason why this does not affect the survival of the alive beings. This ecosystem is the largest because they represent 75%.
According to different habitats of aquatic organism, aquatic ecosystem are various kinds and divided into the following:
Benthic: these are located at the bottom of aquatic ecosystems. In those that are not very deep, the main inhabitants are algae. In the deeper ones, the majority are consumers.
Nectonic: these animals move freely, thanks to their means of locomotion can adapt to water currents.
Planktonic: these living beings live floating in the terrestrial or marine water and are dragged by the water currents, they do not move by their own movements.
Neustonic: these live on the surface of the water, floating.
Terrestrial ecosystems, such as the aquatic ecosystem, present a series of landscapes that have their own characteristics. So According to the characteristics of landscapes aquatic ecosystem is the following:
– Wetland : is a zone of flat lands that has groundwater of shallow depth and that ascend to the surface in determined periods, forming lagoons and marshes, until where they come to live hundreds of species. There are five classes of wetlands: marine, estuarine, lake, riparian and marshy.
– Mangrove : is a grouping of semi-submerged trees that have been flooded with water, with high levels of salinity and therefore they develop and survive in coastal lands. The trees grow on long roots, which like stilts raise the trunks above the level of the waters. To reproduce, they quickly retain the seeds in the branches until they are about to develop. When the tide goes down they are able, within a few hours, to root and begin to grow before being again underwater.
– Coral reef : it is one of the richest aquatic ecosystems of the planet, product of the great amount of species that inhabit in them (fish, snails, corals and algae). The reef structure consists of large colonies of corals, accumulations of sediments and calcareous sands. They are found mainly in tropical regions and there are two types of coral: hard and soft.
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2. Terrestrial Ecosystem
They are those zones or regions where organisms (animals, plants, etc.) live and develop in the soil and in the air that surrounds a certain terrestrial space. In these places it is assumed that living things that inhabit the ecosystem find everything they need to be able to survive.
Depending on the abiotic factors of each ecosystem, there are different types of terrestrial habitats: deserts, grasslands and forests.
Terrestrial ecosystems are part of other larger ecosystems, called biomass or ecological regions. These zones are delimited by latitude, climate, temperature and the level of precipitations. In the next issues will be treated in depth ecological regions.
This ecosystem develops on the surface of the Earth called Biosphere. The most wide individuals in this ecosystem are insects, of which there are 900,000 species. The birds would occupy the second place, with about 8,500 species. Third, mammals of which there are 4,100 species. Unlike the aquatic ecosystem, in the terrestrial the individuals present much more varied characteristics, this is due to the numerous factors that condition the species. Among these the most important are: solar radiation, availability of water, nutrients and light. Another feature of this ecosystem is the need for both vegetables and animals to have water for the hydration of their organisms, so that without it they could not survive.
Tropical forests : These are tropical forests that receive an average rainfall of 80 per 400 inches annually. The forests are characterized by dense vegetation comprising tall trees at different heights. Each level is a haven for different types of animals.
– Tropical forests : usually have extremely dense ecosystems because there are so many different types of animals and they all live in a very small area. They have a high biodiversity in plants and animals; Is also one of the oldest ecosystems of the planet and they are below the 1200 meters of height; The temperature and light remain constant throughout the year.
– Temperate forest : Those who have a good number of trees like mosses and ferns are for them. Temperate forests exist in regions where the climate changes significantly from summer to winter. Summers and winters are clearly defined and trees lose their leaves during the winter months.
-Swamp : Situated just before the Arctic regions, swamp is defined by evergreen conifers. The temperature is below zero degrees for almost half a year, the rest of the months, is full of migratory birds and insects.
– Tundra : It has an extremely cold climate. The ground remains frozen for much of the year. In the summer it thaws, But only a few centimeters. Its rainfall is very low, so it reduces the growth of living organisms. There are no large trees, only small plants (mosses, lichens and other tree species).
– Desert : found in regions that receive annual rainfall of less than 25%. They occupy about 17% of all the land on our planet. Due to the high temperatures, low availability of water and intense sunlight, the fauna and flora are scarce and underdeveloped.
– Savanna : Tropical meadows are seasonally dry and have few individual trees. They support a large number of predators and herbivores.
– Grassland : The temperate of grassland are completely devoid of large shrubs and trees. Grasslands could be categorized as mixed grass, tall grass and grassy meadows.
– Mountain : offers a dispersed and diverse matrix of habitats where a large number of animals and plants can be found. In the higher areas, the harsh environmental conditions that normally prevail, and where only the alpine vegetation without trees can survive. The animals that live there have thick fur coats for preventing cold and hibernation in the winter months. Offers a dispersed and diverse matrix of habitats where large numbers of animals and plants can be found. In the higher areas, the harsh environmental conditions that normally prevail, and where only the alpine vegetation without trees can survive. The animals that live there have thick fur coats for preventing cold and hibernation in the winter months.
3. Air Ecosystem
This type of ecosystem has the particularity of being of transition. No living being dwells permanently, But have to descend to the land for rest, feeding or procreation, so it is not self-sufficient. Because of this, some place it within the terrestrial ecosystem.
Types According to the Degree of Human Intervention
1.Natural Ecosystems : Man has not intervened in their formation, such as forests, lakes, deserts.
2.Artificial Ecosystems : Man actively participates in its formation, such as dams, parks, gardens.
Types According to Size
– Micro-Ecosystems : As tiny as a drop of water, a vase with water, a pot, etc.
– Macro-Ecosystem : As big as the lake of Maracaibo, the Caribbean Sea, the mountain range of the Andes, etc.
Conservation of Ecosystems
Because of human activity there are many ecosystems in danger , so it is very important that we become aware of the conservation of the ecosystem in which we live. You can and here we leave you some things you can do for your ecosystem.
- Try to reduce the amount of fuel and resources your family uses.
- Limit all you can consumption and all waste. Recycling would be best.
- Uses products called “Environment Friendly” products made to be environmentally safe.
- Try not to alter your surroundings. Respect your environment.
- Try to make moderate use of water.
- It uses urban means of transport like buses or trains, Although the best is the bicycle.