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Note on Ecosystem

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Introduction

We all live on this earth along with our environment and surrounding. Our environment consists of various biotic and abiotic factors like air, forest, soil, water, various non- living things and other different types of living organisms. We cannot live without environment. Not only we but also other living organisms cannot live without environment and its factors. Everything living organisms on this earth are interrelated with eachother. We are connected with various factors of the environment directly or indirectly. These factors may be whether living or non- living things. The ecosystem consists of very minute organisms to the huge organisms.
There are various types of green plants like grass, trees, different types of herbs and shrubs. These green plants are known as the producer as they produce foods. These grasses are eaten by the consumer. Consumers are further divided into different types like herbivorous and carnivorous. After the grass is eaten by consumer like deer, the deer is then eaten by primary consumer like a fox. After the fox eats the grass, the fox is again eaten by top consumer like a lion, tiger etc. They are named as the top consumer because they ar not further eaten by other organisms. After the dead of the top consumer, they are decomposed by decomposers like bacteria, mushroom etc. This decomposer changes the complex organic compounds into the simpler form which are used by the producer to produce food.
Like this , every part and the member of the environment are directly or indirectly interconnected with eachother. Therefore, the ecosystem can be defined as a dynamic system where all the biotic and abiotic components of the earth are interrelated directly or indirectly with eachother and are constantly interacting, bringing structural and functional changes. There are two different types of ecosystem. They are terrestrial ecosystem and aquatic ecosystem that are concerned with land and water respectively. Short information about aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem is given below,

  • Terrestrial Ecosystem
    Producer: grass, trees, herbs, and shrubs
    Primary consumer: deer, zebra, goat
    Secondary consumer: jackal, fox
    Tertiary consumer: lion and tigers
  • Pond Ecosystem
    Producer: hydrilla, algae, etc.
    Primary consumer: small fishes, tadpole, dragonfly etc.
    Secondary consumer: frog, big fishes etc

All the living organisms on this earth cannot live without food. We need the energy to perform our life activities which are only provided by the food. The lion cannot run without eating its food, the goat cannot run without eating grass and many other organisms cannot do their activities without food. All these organisms get food from each other directly or indirectly. They are interconnected with each other in terms of food also. This connection of living organisms for food is known as food chain.

Food Chain

The transfer of energy and materials in the form of food from one trophic level to another trophic level by the repeated process of eating and being eaten is known as food chain. It is of three types: grazing food chain, detritus food chain and parasitic food chain.

Grazing food chain

This type of food chains begins from living plants and goes on grazing herbivores and on to the carnivores. It starts from plant base and goes from smaller to larger animals.

Producers (first trophic level)→ Herbivores (Second trophic level)→ Carnivores(Third trophic level)

Detritus food chain

These types of food chain are characterized by the following ways:

  1. The primary source of energy for detritus food chain is dead organic matter called detritus.
  2. Main sources of dead organic matter are dead leaves or dead animals.
  3. These are shorter than the grazing food chain.
  4. Primary consumers are the detritivores (detritus eating).
  5. The detritivores, in turn, are eaten by secondary consumers like larvae, nematodes etc.

Parasitic food chain

In this type of food chain, energy goes from large organisms to smaller ones without killing.

Trophic level

The producer consumer arrangement is known as trophic structure and the position that an organism occupies in a food chain is called trophic level. In grassland there are four types of trophic level. From the trophic level we can say that the transfer of energy and materials takes place from one trophic level to another trophic level through food chain.

Food web

A food web is a network of food chains interconnected at various trophic levels. The food web provides the alternative pathways of food availability.

Interrelationship between animals and foods

Plants and animals are closely interconnected with eachother for food. When decomposer decomposes dead and decayed animals into simpler compounds, these compounds are used by plants to produce food. These foods are then eaten by various herbivorous animals. On the basis of food, organisms are divided into two types which are given below,

Autotrophs

Autotrophs are those organisms that can make their own food. They are also called producers. Autotrophs are the green plant which contains chlorophyll. They synthesize organic foods from inorganic materials. The green plants produce organic compounds, sugars from carbon dioxide and water by the process of photosynthesis.

6CO2 + 6H2O → C6H12O6 + 6O2

Heterotrophs

Those organisms which cannot prepare their own food and depends on upon autotrophs for food are called heterotrophs. They come under consumer and decomposer. On the basis of nature of food, heterotrophs are divided into the following categories:

  • Holozoic: This includes those organisms which feed on solid organic substances obtained from other organisms. They can be of three types: herbivorous, carnivorous and omnivorous.
  • Saprophytic: These types of organisms feed on dissolved organic and inorganic substances produced as a result of decomposition of plants and animals. Examples: euglena, bacteria etc.
  • Parasitic: Parasitic organisms like an earthworm, tapeworm, liver fluke etc. obtain their liquid or solid food from other living organisms.

Ecosystem Services

We get various services from the ecosystem. They are discussed below in terms of provisioning services and regulating services.

Provisioning ecosystem: We get foods, wood, and various products from the ecosystem. There are various provisioning services which are given below,

  • Food and fibre: We need the energy to perform our life activities. We get energy from food and we get food from the ecosystem. We get fibres like jute, wood, silk, etc from the forest and various types of animals.
  • Fuel: Various things like wood, waste of animals and various things from ecosystem are used as fuel. We get this types of fuel from our environment.
  • Ornamental resources:Various ornamental are made by carving wood, metals, bones etc. We get wood, metals etc from the ecosystem.

Regulating services: Ecosystem regulates various factors of the earth. Some of them are discussed below,

  • Climate regulation: Ecosystem greatly affects the climate of the world. The forest regulates the temperature of the earth and helps in rainfall. It gives out carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change.
  • Water Purification: The ecosystem performs an important role in purifying water. They filter the water and remove aquatic germs through the different process. The ecosystem also helps in pollination, regulation of human diseases and erosion control.
  • Cultural services: Ecosystem contributes in natural scenery, fresh environment, culture, and tradition etc. Ecosystem effects in religious and cultural change. It promotes the social relation and cultural heritage. It also greatly contributes to the tourism industry.
  • Supportive services: Ecosystem supports nutrient recycling among plants,primary production, and soil formation. It regulates food production and purifies water.

Basic requirement of human

We need various things to live our life. Some things are very important while other are not so important. Important things are termed as basic needs. The basic needs of the human are food, shelter and clothing. Among this, food is one of the very important needs of our life because our body cannot perform life activities without food as food provide us energy. We cannot live outside. We need a roof above us to prevent us from rain, strong wind, sunlight etc. We need something that protects us from fire, animals, criminals etc. We become safe from all these things if only we stay inside our house. We cannot sleep outside as it is very dangerous to our health and life. So, shelter is very important for humans as there are many dangerous things outside including natural disaster.

Another basic need of humans is clothing. Clothing is very important for us as it protects us from various things like germs, dirt, etc. We cannot walk naked around our home. We need clothes to protect our body. These all basic needs of human life does not evolve from anything but instead, all these things are provided by the ecosystem or the environment on which we live. Human beings depend on upon different biotic and abiotic factors of the ecosystem. Some topic are discussed below how the human beings have depended on ecosystem for their basic needs.

  • Food: We need food to survive. We cannot live without food. Food provides us energy. Our body use foods to perform various functional activities. We eat vegetables, fruits, meats etc. We get all these things from the ecosystem. We grow vegetables and fruits on soil which is the part of the ecosystem. We cannot get food without the ecosystem.
  • Shelter: Home is very important for us. We cannot stay outside. To make house we used woods, bricks, muds,etc which are the abiotic factors of the ecosystem. We are very much dependent on the ecosystem.
  • Clothes: We cannot walk without clothes. We need clothes to protect our body from various germs, dirt, etc. We do not obtain clothes directly from the ecosystem. Industries made clothes by using various parts of the ecosystem like cotton, wool, silk etc.

  • The transfer of energy and materials in the form of food from one trophic level to another trophic level by the repeated process of eating and being eaten is known as food chain.
  • Primary source of energy for detritus food chain is dead organic matter called detritus.
  • The producer consumer arrangement is known as trophic structure and the position that an organism occupies in a food chain is called trophic level.
  • Food web is a network of food chains interconnected at various trophic levels.
  • Autotrophs are those organisms that can make their own food.
  • Those organisms which cannot prepare their own food and depends upon autotrophs for food are called heterotrophs. 
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Very Short Questions

Burrowing animals in desert dig burrows and holes lying below the hot and sand surface which makes the place moist and cool. So, they can survive by less water also.

The differences between herbivores and carnivores are:

Herbivores Carnivores
a. The animals that feed in autotrophs are called herbivores. a. The animals that feed on flesh of other animals are called carnivores.
b. They cannot survive without green plants and provide food for carnivores. b. They directly on herbivores for food and indirectly depend on green plants.

A food chain can be defined as the transfer of food energy from producers through series of consumers with repeated eating and being eaten.

Community is defined as the group of population of plants and animals in a given place, groups of various sizes and degrees in integration.
In a community, mushroom is saprophytic living organism and acts as a decomposer.

The importance of energy transfer in an ecosystem is given below:
i) Energy is supplied by sun and it is not produced in an ecosystem.
ii) In a food chain, there is a continuous transfer of energy from one trophic level to another trophic level.
iii) In each trophic level, the amount of energy available is less than that available at the previous tropic level.

Human beings can help in balance of nature in following ways:
a) By controlling the over population.
b) By the proper management of the waste product.
c) By establishing industries at suitable places In safe ways.
d) By afforestation and conserving the natural resources.

The basic requirements of human beings are categorized into 3 types. They are:
i) Food: Food is the most vital requirement for the plants and animals. Human beings cultivate different cereals, fruits, vegetables and rare animals for the consumption of their food. Since, the time immemorial, human beings have been using different types of sea and land animals for their food.
ii) Shelter: Human beings build houses and buildings for their own shelter. The raw materials of construction come from the environment woods, cement, stones all are derived from the environment directly or indirectly.
iii) Cloth: To protect the body from the extreme climatic condition and other injuries, we should wear cloth. The raw materials foe the making clothes also come from the nature. Cotton seeds, silkworm, featherlike raw materials come from the environment.

Food chain is of three types. They are:
i) Grazing food chain
ii) Detritus food chain
iii) Parasitic food chain

The producer consumer arrangement is known as trophic structure and the position that an organism occupies in a food chain is called trophic level.

Food chain is of three types. They are grazing food chain, detritus food chain and parasitic food chain.

Producers belong to first trophic level because they are capable of producing own food with the help of sunlight.

Food web is defined as a network of food chains interconnected at various trophic levels. The food web provides the alternative pathways of food availability.

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  • A food web is ______.

    like a food chain.


    a set of interconnected species.


    the trophic (feeding) levels that can be observed in an ecosystem.


    a set of interconnected food chains, illustrating the trophic relationships among species.


  • Which of the following is a difference between a food chain and a food web?

    Food chains include decomposers, but food webs do not.
    Food chains are linear and food webs are complex.
    Food chains involve only plants, while food webs involve both plants and animals.
    Food chains involve only plants, while food webs involve animals.
  • The carnivores are classified as secondary consumers because they eat ______.

    herbivores.


    herbivores or other carnivores


    Non of the above


    more than one species of herbivore


  • Plant growth is most likely to be limited by scarcity of ______ in the environment.

    nitrogen
    non of this
    both
    phosphorus
  • The transfer of energy and materials in the form of food from one trophic level to another trophic level by the repeated process of eating and being eaten is known as _______.

    all of the above


    food chain


    food web


    ecosystem


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DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THIS NOTE

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Define echosystem.

define echosystem.*


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divya thakur

how does water ecosystem and pond ecosystem differ ?


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food chain

can food chain operate in isolation


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Prabhakar


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