Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem
Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem: In this post, we will learn about Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem. In Bed 2nd Year there is one of the most important questions comes from Environment Education. You will learn about Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem. Teaching is a social and professional activity. It is a process of development. Teaching is a system of actions that induce learning through interpersonal relationships. and all the rest you will study in this Blog
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Meaning and Definition of Ecosystem
The term ecosystem’ was first used by A.G. Tansley in 1935. He defined an ecosystem as a particular category of the physical system, consisting of organisms and inorganic components that are relatively stable in equilibrium, open, and of various sizes and kinds.
The term ‘ecosystem’ is most preferred in recent development in ecology where eco implies the environment and system implies an interacting, interdependent complex. (Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem)
Any unit that includes all the organism in a given area, interact with the physical environment so that flow of energy leads to clearly defined trophic structure, biotic diversity and material cycle within the system is known as an ecological system or ecosystem.
The recent development in ecological studies has been to undertake besides structure, the similarities and differences in food and energy relationship among living components of the ecosystem that is generally referred to as the bioenergetic approach in modern ecology. Modern ecology is broadly defined as the study of ecosystems,
According to Evans (1956), “the ecosystem involves the circulation, transformation, and accumulation of energy and matter through the medium of living organisms and their activities) The dynamic abiotic components of the environment and the assemblage of plants and animals there, as a result of interactions between themselves, keep modifying and changing each other and this leads to the development of the ecosystem.”
Human ecology or applied ecology is the use of ecological concepts to describe human activities and the determination of ways in which people can best obtain their needs from the ecosystem. Ecosystems that are substantially altered by human activities are called managed whereas those free from such disturbances are referred to as natural.
According to Tansley, the ecosystem is comprised of two major parts:
- The first pan is the biome which includes the whole complex of plants and animals or particular spatial units.
- The second part is a habitat which involves the physical environment of the particular spatial unit. All parts of an ecosystem-organic and inorganic, biome and habitat may be regarded as interacting factors that, in a mature ecosystem, are in approximate equilibrium, it is through their interactions that the whole system is maintained.
“The ecosystem as a functioning, interacting system composed of one or more living organisms and their effective environment, both physical and biological.” -A.G. Tansely & F.R. Fosberg (1963)
Ecosystems have inputs of matter and energy used to build biological structures and produce and maintain necessary internal energy levels. Matter and energy are also exported from an ecosystem. An ecosystem tends to achieve a balance of the various processes and activities within it. (Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem)
An ecosystem may be defined as a fundamental functional unit occupying spatial dimension of the ‘Earth spaceship‘ characterized by a total assemblage of the biotic community and abiotic components and their mutual interactions within a given time unit.
The ecosystems are units of organisms connected to one another and to their environment. The ecosystem is the sum total of all natural organisms and substances within an area, and it can be viewed as a basic example of an open system in physical geography.
“The term ecosystem applies to, ‘any system composed of physical, chemical and biological processes within a space-time unit of any magnitude.” -A. L. Linderman (1942)
“The total assemblage of components interacting with a group of organisms is known as ecological system or more simply an ecosystem.” -A.N. Strahler (1976)
Living organisms can use energy in several forms, but all forms can be grouped into two categories radiant and fixed.
(i) Radiant energy is in the form of electromagnetic waves such as light.
(ii) Fixed energy is chemical energy in various organic substances which can be broken down to release energy.
Characteristics of Ecosystem
The above definitions of the ecosystem have enumerated the following basic characteristics of the ecosystem:
- An ecosystem is a unit of organisms connected to one another and to their environment within a given space and time unit.
- Any system composed of physical, chemical, and biological processes within a space-time unit of any magnitude.
- It is composed of three basic components—biotic (biome), abiotic (habitat), and energy components.
- It occupies a certain well-defined area on the earth-space and time unit.
- The ecosystem of any given space-time unit represents the sum of all living output of matter and energy.
- It is an open system that is characterized by continuous input and output of matter and energy.
- There are complex sets of interactions between biotic and abiotic components including energy components on the one hand and among the organism on the other hand.
- The ecosystem has its own productivity which is the process of buildings organic matter based on the availability and amount of energy passing through the ecosystem. Productivity refers to the rate of growth of organic matter in a space unit per time unit.
- It is powered by the energy of various sorts but solar energy is the most significant (radiation) and tends to be a relatively stable equilibrium has the natural resources system.
- It is a well-organized and structured system. The study of ecosystem development is helpful in environmental planning from an ecological point of view. (Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem)
Kinds of Ecosystem
There are different types of ecosystems in nature. These may be classified broadly into three broad categories:
(1) Natural Ecosystems
(2) Artificial Ecosystems (man-engineered) and
(3) Space Ecosystem.
- Natural Ecosystems operate by themselves under natural conditions without any major interference by man and based upon the particular kind of habitat, these are further divided into two sub-categories.
(a) Terrestrial Ecosystem as forest, grassland, desert, etc.
(b) Aquatic Ecosystem (i) Fresh mater-running, springs, waterfalls, rivers and standing as lakes, ponds, pools, ditch, (ii) Marine or ocean water such deep bodies as sea, ocean, estuary, etc.
- Artificial Ecosystem (man-engineered). These ecosystems are managed by man where, by the addition of energy and planned manipulations, the natural balance is disturbed regularly, e.g., croplands, wheat, maze rice field, etc. Man tries to control biotic components and physio-chemical environments which are common in artificial ecosystems.
- The Space Ecosystem is the recent development that comes under the article ecosystem.
Ecosystems can also be classified on the following several bases:
- Spatial scales
- Sources and level of energy
- Stages of Ecosystem development and
- Stability and instability.
The physical conditions determine the nature and characteristics of biotic communities and therefore, there are spatial variations in the biotic communities. The biological or social features of human beings and their language pronunciation are determined by physical conditions. The vegetation and plants or forests and determined by physical conditions. The vegetation and plants or forests are determined by climatic conditions. The low land and desert mountain are the types of ecosystems.
The largest ecosystem is the whole biosphere which is subdivided into two major sub-types-continental and oceanic or marine ecosystems. (Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem)
There are two broad categories on the basis of the use of ecosystems-(i) cultivation and (ii) non-cultivation or natural ecosystems. The cultivated ecosystem is concerned with the various types of crop production.
Components of Ecosystem
There are three major components of ecosystems:
- Energy components-radiant and fixed energy.
- Physical components-Land water and air and sunlight.
- Biological components—Wants and animals including human beings.
The physical component comprises-Land, soil, water, air, and sunlight. Some organic substances are carbohydrates, protein, fat, and liquid substances. These have been summarized in the following table:
Types of Components and Substance
(i) Abiotic (Physical) Land, Soil water, air, and sunlight.
(ii) Block (Biological) Plants and animals-Carbohydrates, protein, fat, and liquid substance
(iii) Biogenic (biotic) Carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, calcium, and potassium.
(iv) Energy Radiant (Solar energy, and fixed energy)
The Functions of Ecosystem
The functions of the ecosystem have been discussed briefly in the fall paragraphs:
The first law of thermodynamics states that any system of constant energy is neither created nor destroyed but it can be transformed from another type e.g., electrical energy can be converted into chemical terms of ecosystem energy inflow or energy input into the system balanced by energy outflow from the system.
The second law of thermodynamics states that when to work is dissipated and the work is done when one form of energy is transformed into another form. In this context, the lost energy is not again available to the ecosystem.
- Transformation of Solar Energy into Food Energy. There are types of energy as mentioned earlier, the solar radiation is the major source of energy in the ecosystem.
Solar radiation is the basic input of energy entering the ecosystem. The radiant solar energy is received by the green plants. Most of the received solar energy is converted into heat energy and is lost from the ecosystem to the atmosphere through plant communities. Only a small proportion of radiant solar energy is used by plants to make food through the process of photosynthesis Thus green plants transform a part of solar energy into food energy or chemical energy which is used by the green plants to develop their tissues and thus is stored in the primary producers at the bottom of trophic levels. The chemical energy stored at trophic level one becomes the source of energy to the herbivorous animals at trophic level two of the food chain. Some portion of the energy is lost from the trophic level on through respiration and some portion is transferred to plant-eating animals (herbivores) at trophic level two.
- The Circulation of Elements Through Energy Flow. The energy flow is the main driving force of nutrient circulation in the various biotic components of the ecosystem. The organic and inorganic substances are moved reversibly in the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere through various closed systems of cycles in such a way that the total mass of these substances remains almost the same and are always available to biotic communities, it other words, the materials, that make up the biosphere are distributed and redistributed by means of an infinite series of cyclic pathways motored by this continuous input of energy. (Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem)
- The Conversion of Elements into Inorganic Flow. The organ elements of plants and animals are released in a variety of ways i.e. (Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem)
(i) decomposition of leaf falls from the plants, dead plants and animals decomposers and their conversion into soluble inorganic form,
(ii) Burning or vegetation by lighting, accidental forest fire, or deliberation of a man. The portions of organic matter on burning are released to the atmosphere and these again fall down, under the impacts of precipitation, on the ground and become soluble inorganic for elements to join soil storage, while some portions in the form of being decomposed by bacterial activity and join soil storage,
(iii) The waste materials released by animals are decomposed by bacteria and find their way in the soluble inorganic form to soil storage. (Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem)
- The Growth and Development of Plants. The biogeochemical cycles include the uptake of nutrients of inorganic elements by the plants through their roots in solution from the soil where these inorganic elements derived from the sedimentary phase, are stored. The decomposition of leaves, plants, and animals and their conversion into soluble inorganic form are stored in soil which helps in the growth and development of plants, the decompositions are converted into such elements which are easily used in the development of plant tissues and plant growth by bio-chemical process, mainly photosynthesis.
- Ecosystem Productivity. The productivity of the ecosystem refers to the rate of growth of energy or organic matter per unit time by autotrophs at trophic level one through the process of photosynthesis with the help of solar energy. In other words, ecosystem productivity represents the total amount of energy (organic matter) fixed or stored by the autotrophs per unit of time in the ecosystem. The production of organic matter of energy by autotrophs is known as primary production and the green plants involved in the production activity are called primary problems. The ecosystem productivity depends on two factors e.g. (i) the availability of the amount of solar radiation to the primary producers at trophic level one and (ii) the efficiency of the plants to convert solar energy. chemical energy which is used by the green plants to build up their tissues.
- Stability of Ecosystem. There are two models of the nature of ecosystem stability or equilibrium (i) equilibrium model and (ii) non-equilibrium model. (Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem)
The equilibrium model states that an ecosystem always tends towards stability. Whenever the community of an ecosystem is disturbed due to external environmental change, it quickly returns to its original state whereas the no equilibrium model states that ecosystem stability is rarely attained because disturbances caused by frequent external environmental change do not all develop an ordered state of species assemblages in an ecosystem. (Bed 2nd Year What do you understand by Ecosystem)
The stability of the ecosystem refers to the balance between the production and consumption of each element in the ecosystem. In other words, an ecosystem state means a balance between input and output or energy and normal function in different biogeochemical cycles and stable conditions of concentration of elements. There is a self-regulating mechanism with the system, and the system returns to stability. This mechanism increases more protection available to organisms against external environmental changes. It so happens when the changes are continuous and enormous and these changes are beyond the capacity of the ecosystem, e.g., deforestation and subsequent grazing. Man causes instability in the ecosystem.