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An ecosystem is a natural system consisting of plants, animals and micro-organisms in a region. It functions with all the non-living physical factors of the environment.

The term ecosystem was coined in 1930 by Roy Clapham, to denote the physical and biological components of an environment considered in relation to each other as a single unit.

Ecosystem serves as a fundamental life-supporting unit upon which human civilization depends. The direct benefits of the ecosystem are pollination, wood and prevention of erosion. The indirect benefits of the ecosystem are climate moderation, nutrient cycles, detoxifying natural substances and many more.

The biodiversity in an ecosystem helps it to stay flexible.

In an ecosystem all plants and animals are interdependent and interrelated to each other.

A large ecosystem on land which has distinct types of vegetation and animal life is called a biome.

Global Biomes

In an ecosystem

  • Climate determines the plant life.
  • Plant life determines the animal life
  • Human beings are dependent on the ecosystem.
  • Human beings utilise the natural vegetation and wild life in a region. The over-use of the ecosystem by man sometimes results in the extinction of certain plant and animal life, thus destroying the ecosystem.

Let us look at a few examples of the ecosystems.

  • Aquatic ecosystem
  • Coral reef
  • Desert
  • Human ecosystem
  • Marine ecosystem
  • Rainforest
  • Microbial Ecosystem
  • Urban ecosystem

The aquatic ecosystem

An aquatic ecosystem is an ecosystem located in a body of water. Communities of organisms that are dependent on each other and on their environment live in aquatic ecosystems.
  • Marine Ecosystem
  • Freshwater Ecosystem
  • Pond Ecosystem
  • are the 3 main aquatic ecosystems



    An estuary mouth and coastal waters, part of ; an aquatic ecosystem.


    A coral reef is an example of a complex marine ecosystem.


    Pond ecosystem

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