An ecosystem has two major components:
From tropic stand point, the ecosystem has two components.
These components accumulate light energy, use simple inorganic substances and build-up of complex substances. The components are constituted mainly by green plants including photosynthesis bacteria. To some lesser extent chemosynthetic microbes also contribute component are known as producers.
In which utilization, rearrangement and decomposition of complex materials predominate. The organisms involved are known as consumers. They are further categorized as;
These are the consumers which in an order as they occur in a food chain are herbivores, carnivores. They are prototroph’s which includes chief animals that ingest organic matter.
b. Micro Consumers:
These are popularly known as decomposers. They are saprotrophs and include chiefly bacteria actinomycetes and fungi. They break down complex compounds of dead or living protoplasm, absorb some of the decompositions or break down products and release inorganic nutrients in the environment making them available again to the autotrophs.
The biotic element of any ecosystem may be thought of as the functional territory of nature, meanwhile, micro-consumers are based on the variety of nutrition and the energy source used. The trophic structure of an ecosystem is one kind of producer-consumer arrangement, wherever each “food” level is known as a trophic level.
The amount of living material in different trophic levels or in an element population is called as the upright crop, a term applicable to both, plants as well as animals. The upright crop may be expressed in terms of (a) number of organisms per unit area, or (b) biomass i.e. organism mass in unit area, which can be measured as living weight, dry weight, ash-free dry weight or carbon weight, or calories or any other convenient unit seemly for comparative tenacities.
Some functions of ecosystem are listed below:
This is the process of connecting the radiant energy to chemical energy by photosynthesis. The green plants in co-operate into its protoplasm various elements and compounds. Among them, the direct components of the photosynthetic reaction CO2 and H2O and those that critical to protoplasmic synthesis notated N, P, and S, Mg as well as fifteen or more essential nutrients.
As the producers grazed on the nutrients are transferred to higher trophic level. When nutrient containing protoplasm is essential to the environment where they are available for reuse or recycling.
Ecosystems are capable of self-maintenance and self-regulation as their components population and organisms. Homeostasis is the term generally applied to the tendency for the biological system to resist change and to remain in a state of equilibrium. To maintain the homeostasis state, the feedback must be negative. Negative feedback is feedback that regulates and process or set of events by turning it or slow it down. Various Feedback occurs at sub-levels in the ecosystem.
One characteristic of any system of an organization i.e. unified group of components forming a system.
Neil Etal (1986) noted other properties of a biological organization including ecosystem are as follows:
Regional climates interact with regional biota and substrate to produce large, easily recognizable community units called biomes. The biomes are the largest land community units which are convenient to recognize.
In a given biome, the life form of the climatic climax vegetation is uniform. Thus, the climax vegetation of the grassland biome is grass although the species of dominant grasses may vary in different part of the biome. Since, the life form of the vegetation, on the other, determines the structural nature of the habitat for animals, it provides a sound basis for a natural ecological classification. Conversely, climatic data may be used to delimit the major vegetation formations.
The biome includes not only climatic climax vegetation, which is the key to recognition but the edaphic climaxes and the developmental stages in the deciduous biome where the broad-leaved deciduous tree is the climax life form. Many organisms required both the developmental and the climax stage in succession or the ecotones between them, therefore, all of the communities in a given climatic region, whether climax or not, are natural parts of the biome.
The ecosystem mainly categorized into 2 groups which are as given follows:
These operate by themselves under natural conditions without any major interference by man. Based on the particular kind of habit these are classified as:
This ecosystem is classified as forest, grassland and desert ecosystem etc.
It may further distinguish as fresh water and marine water ecosystems.
These are the maintained artificially by man whereby addition of energy and planned manipulation (natural balance is disturb regularly for e.g. Cropland maize, wheat, rice field etc.) Where man tries to control the biotic community as well as the physiochemical environment.
E.p., Odum. Fundamentals of Ecology. USA: W.B Saunters Company, n.d.
Jr., Miller G.T. Living in the Environment. Belmont, California,USA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2003.