Describe ecosystem and describe its characteristics.
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An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the non-living components of their environment (things like air, wider and mineral soil), interacting as a system. Ecosystem is a natural unit which consists of biotic communities and their abiotic environment. It is also Basic functional unit in ecology. Energy, water, nitrogen and soil minerals are other essential abiotic components of an ecosystem. Ecosystem are controlled both by external and internal factors. External factors such as climate, parent material that forms the soil, typography, etc. and internal factors include disturbance, succession and the types of species present.
Characteristics of Ecosystem:
i) Biotic component: producer (green plants), consumers (animals), decomposers (microorganisms)
ii) Abiotic component: Air, water, soil
iii) Energy flow: Sun is the main source of energy
vi) Biological integration
viii) Ecological regulation
ix) Smallest unit of biosphere
x) An open system with a continuous, but variable influx and loss of materials and energy.