Assemblage of plants and animals able to co-exist within an area forming a biotic community. In this community the different species tends to interact with one another and to modify the conditions of life within which each exists. They develop the inter relationship which constitutes and ecosystem. They are inter dependent on each other.
Structure of Ecosystem
There are mainly two types of substances in an ecosystem. viz Biotic substances and Abiotic substances.
1) Abiotic substances
Basic inorganic compounds of a habitat or an area which are involved in the material cycle are called as inorganic components. Water, carbon dioxide, calcium, nitrogen, phosphate are some of the abiotic components. Proteins, amino acids, lipids and carbohydrate which are synthesized by the biotic counterpart of an ecosystem are the organic components.
2) Biotic Components
Biotic components are further divided in three parts -
Producers produce the food for themselves and others. They are green plants and are able to manufacture food from simple inorganic substance are called producers. Chemo-synthetic bacteria, photosynthetic bacteria, aglae of various types, shrubs, grasses,mosses, herbs and trees contribute in production of an ecosystem.
These are the heterotrophic organisms i.e. they are dependent on others for food. They eat other organisms or organic matter. They are chiefly animals. They are also called as Macro Consumers
These are also heterotrophic components like bacteria and fungi. They breakdown the complex compounds of dead protoplasm, absorb some of the products and releases simple substances which are again usable by producers. They are also called as micro Consumers
Functions of Ecosystems
From the functional point of view there are mainly two components of an ecosystem, which are-
These are Self Nourishing i.e. they make their own food and are not dependent on others for food. Autotrophs fix light energy using simple inorganic substances and build up of complex substances predominates. Green trees, photosynthetic bacteria etc. belongs to this category. To some lesser extent, chemo-synthetic microbes also contribute to make some matter.
These are other nourishing i.e. they are dependent on producers for food. They can not make their own food. They are known as consumers because they consume the matter built up by producers.
Thus ecosystem is the main part of living life. Study of ecosystem will tell us the information of different living things.