If you are looking for the definition and components given by various experts about the term Ecosystem .Then you have landed on the right article as this article will make fairly easy for you to understand the concept of Ecosystem.
1.Definition of Ecosystem
The term ecosystem was coined by Sir Athur Tansley in 1935 . According to Fitzpatric ,a group of organisms interacting among them and with environment is known as Ecosystem . Ecosystem is essentially a technical term for ‘nature’.
2.Components of Ecosystem:
An ecosystem has two basic components. Abiotic components and Biotic components:
1. Abiotic Components:
These are the non living components that affect the distribution, number, metabolism and behaviour of organism in an ecosystem. These include:
a. Inorganic substance like carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and water.
b. Dead organic matter containing proteins, corbohydrates, lipids, humid substances, etc.
c. Atmospheric factors like temperature, moisture, sunlight.
d. Edaphic factors such as soil texture and topography.
2. Biotic components:
They include all living beings present in an ecosystem producers, consumers, and decomposers. the components are connected through food, its contained energy and web of interrelationships.
They are autrophs that manufacture organic compounds from inorganic raw materials with the help of solar energy. Producers are also called transducers as they convert solar radiations into chemical energy. Besides food, producers give out oxygen and take in carbon dioxide.
They are heterotrophs, mostly animals which feed on other organisms. Consumers are also called phagotrophs as they ingest food. The consumer’s are of four types, namely:
1.Primary Consumers (Herbivores):
They are the animals, which feed on plants or the producers. They are called herbivores. For example: Rabbit, dear, goat, cattle, grasshopper etc.
2. Secondry Consumers (Primary Carnivores):
The animals which feed on the herbivores are called primary Carnivores. For example: Cats, dogs, foxes, snakes etc.
3. Teritiary Consumers (Secondry Carnivores):
These are the large carnivores which feed on the Secondry consumers. For example: Wolves.
4. Quaternary Consumers (Omnivores):
These are the largest Cornivores, Which feed on the tertiary consumers and are not eaten up by any other animals. For example: Lions and Tigers.
They are saprotrophs which decompose the organic remains by secreting extracellular digestive enzymes. Due to degradation of organic remains, decomposers are also called reducers. They are also known as mineralisers as they release minerals trapped in organic remains. Detrivores are decomposers, as well as scavengers. Scavengers are consumers of dead bodies. For examples: Vulture, Carrion Beetle, Prasites are consumers that feed on small part of a living beings.