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It is a high altitude terrestrial ecosystem in which the land is vertically distributed. Mountain lands provide a scattered but diverse array of habitats in which a large range of plants and animals can be found. Mountain areas cover 24% of the earth's land surface. Soil layer on the mountains is thinner because of the steepness of higher mountains which result from quick runoff of rain water washing the topsoil exposing the rock.
The biotic components of mountain ecosystem are as follows:
Producer: The producer of mountain ecosystem are the vegetations which are related to altitude and is affected by the degree of slopes of mountains. The producers are lichens, shrubs, and grasses. There are also coniferous species such as Abies, pinus, oaks, etc. another several species like Michelin, Cedrella, Tsuga, Picea, etc. In the riverine areas trees like sissoo, Acacia, etc. are found.
Consumers: Among the consumers (animals) of high mountains include the red panda, musk deer, Nayan, as herbivores and snow leopard, leopard cat, clouded leopard, etc. as carnivorous mammals. Birds include snow partridges, monals, daphne, etc.
Decomposer: Decomposers of mountain regions are various microbial organisms such as fungi, bacteria, etc. They help in the decay of organic materials that provide nutrients for the producers.
Interaction among the biotic communities are the food chains and food web. Food chains are of two types:
These all food chains are interconnected to each other making a food web.
The pyramid of the predatory type of food chain is upright as there is a gradual decrease in the number, biomass, and energy. In the parasitic type of food chain, the pyramid of number is found to be inverted as there is the increase in number from producers to consumers.