What is the Definition of the Ecosystem?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The definition of an Ecosystem is a system of biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) elements that operate together as a single unit. Hence, it includes all living beings interacting and influencing each other while in the same environment. All living organisms are considered biotic components, whereas non-living elements are considered abiotic components. As a result, the scientific definition of an ecosystem includes an ecological assembly of diverse populations of organisms that coexist in a specific habitat.

Ecosystem Definition

An ecosystem consists of all the living creatures and the physical surroundings in which they interact. They link together with each other via nutrient cycles and energy discharges. It is said to be the functional and structural unit of the Biosphere.

Food chains are an essential component of an ecosystem. They are dynamic in nature and link the biotic and abiotic elements together. In simple words, the food chain determines which organism eats the other or is eaten by another. The food chain sequence depicts a vital pathway for nutrients and energy to flow through the ecosystem.

Ecosystem function is the ability of natural processes and elements to directly or indirectly meet human needs for goods and services. Ecological processes and structures are considered a subset of ecosystem functions.

Types of Ecosystem

There are 4 types of Terrestrial ecosystems, namely:

  • Forest Ecosystem
  • Tundra Ecosystem
  • Desert Ecosystem
  • Grassland Ecosystem

In addition, there are two categories of aquatic ecosystems: freshwater and marine. In a grassland ecosystem, a food chain can move from a producer of grass (producer) to consumers like a mouse (primary), a snake (secondary), and a hawk (tertiary).

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