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What is an ecosystem?

An ecosystem is a complex community in which the living and non-living organisms work in collaboration. It is referred to as a complex set with relations between the resources and components in the environment. Elements like air, soil, plants, etc are all a part of the ecosystem. Everything that exists in the ecosystem is ultimately dependent on the components and species that are a part of the ecosystem (Loreau et. al, 2001).

List four characteristics of ecosystem. Explain each characteristic.

The four characteristics of the ecosystem are:

Ecosystems are Hierarchical

The ecosystems have a hierarchy of feeding. This hierarchy is based on various energy sources like the sun, decomposers, minerals, etc. All these elements are dependent on each other.

Ecosystems have Biodiversity

Biodiversity in an ecosystem may turn out to be more vulnerable if it declines, which will make the system to go through environmental problems like various diseases and pests. The rain forests in the ecosystem are totally complex and have biodiversity.

Ecosystems Have Regular Temperature and Rainfall Patterns

The ecosystems basically form a response that is distinct but expected or predictable to the climates of different geographical locations. The ecosystems vary according to the regions.

Ecosystems are Integrated

An ecosystem in general is an integration of the complete mixture of interacting organisms in contrast to the environment.

How is an ecosystem different from a biological community?

An ecosystem is mainly a natural element consisting of all the living species like plants, animals and various biotic components (microorganisms). In an ecosystem all these elements function jointly with the non-living components in the society. On the other side, the biological community is a collection of interacting components (Rana, 2007).

What does it mean “ecosystems are dynamic”?

Ecosystems are dynamic meant to be dynamic because all the non-living components in it change, and the living components of the system develop and die. The ecosystems can be flexible, and the changes that occur in it make other changes. Even the changes in the environmental factors have different consequences and cause many other changes.

What are limiting factors in the physical environment? Give some examples.

The elements that limit the distribution of the organisms are known as the limiting factors of the environment. All the living things are dependent on some components to survive, but when there are limiting factors that create environmental resistance. For example, temperature, weather, rain, disasters are all examples of the limiting factors.

Describe the water, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycle. How are each of them important in life?

The water cycle is known called as “hydrological cycle”. The main importance of the water cycle is that the earth recycles itself. There would be no clouds, no lakes and streams unless the water would evaporate.

The carbon cycle has importance in the ecosystems as it carries carbon throughout the environment, a life-supporting component, from the environment and oceans into organisms and back again to the atmosphere and oceans. It is one of the most important cycles.

Nitrogen is an aspect that is important in all ...
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