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Chapter 3 – Ecosystem

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:


You might have been curious to know how all living beings, plants and animals exist together in place in harmony. What is it called? It is called the ecosystem. The ecosystem is the structural and functional unit of ecology, where living species communicate with each other and with the surrounding environment. In other words, the ecosystem is a series of interactions between species and their surroundings. The word “Ecosystem” was first coined in 1935 by A.G.Tansley, an English botanist.

Therefore, understanding ecosystems from the definition given above can be said that the ecosystem may be described as a system comprising all living organisms in a space unit interacting with non-living components.

In other words, an ecosystem can be defined as a setup where interaction between biotic and abiotic factors takes place. In an ecosystem, a single organism plays its part in the cyclical relationship of living organisms (referred to as biotic components) with their surrounding habitats.

In clearer terms, an ecosystem is a place where interdependence between organisms can be seen clearly.

An ecosystem is a group of living and nonliving organisms in a given area, which is in continuous contact with each other, ensuring an ecological equilibrium. Biotic or living beings are human, plant, and animal, while abiotic or non-living beings are rock, dirt, water, air, and other associated components of that area.

Ecosystems are generally divided into two types:

  • Terrestrial ecosystem: Land Earth-based
  • Aquatic ecosystem: Water-based ecosystem

All ecosystems fall into one of the groups listed above. Below are the types of ecosystems.

  • Forest Ecosystem:
    Classification is based on the respective climate – boreal, temperate, or tropical. Forest ecosystems in temperate areas may have a coniferous type of flora, a deciduous type, or a combination of both. Rainforest ecosystems in the tropics have the most complex plant and animal ecosystems on Earth. Here the trees grow tall, and the vegetation is thick and green with a wet and humid climate, with the species rising from the root to the canopy. The boreal forests are located in the far north, with an affluent population of coniferous trees known as the taiga.
  • Desert Ecosystem:
    The most distinguishing characteristic of this ecosystem is the amount of precipitation it gets, which is the least that any ecosystem receives. This ecosystem could occur from the Arctic to the Tropics. Not all deserts are hot; some of them are windy.
  • Grassland Ecosystem:
    They are present in savannahs, steppes, and prairies, temperate and tropical areas. They may also occur in cooler regions and share a similar characteristic: semi-aridity. Flowers can be scattered around the lawn, but the trees are nearly non-existent.
  • Marine Ecosystem:
    It includes saltwater and inhabits a wide range of species. They are the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Marine encloses oceanic beds and coastal zones, salt marshes, estuaries, saltwater swamps, coral reefs, mangroves, etc.
  • Tundra Ecosystem:
    Tundra signifies polar areas at low altitudes. It is marked by extreme weather conditions similar to deserts and is normally wind-swept, snow-covered and treeless. The land is frozen during the year and, throughout the short summers, the snow melts to create shallow pools, giving birth to small flowers and lichens.
  • Freshwater Ecosystems:
    In contrast to aquatic ecosystems, they pertain to the ecosystem present in rivers, wetlands, streams, coastal swamps and freshwater springs. They include plankton, algae, insects, amphibians and aquatic plants.

The ecosystem functions are as follows:

  • It controls critical ecosystem processes, promotes life-saving mechanisms and ensures sustainability.
  • It is also responsible for the circulation of nutrients amongst biotic and abiotic components.
  • It provides an equilibrium between the different trophic levels in the environment.
  • The minerals cycle across the biosphere.
  • Abiotic components assist in the synthesis of organic elements that require energy exchange.
Natural EcosystemArtificial Ecosystem
Forests, lakes and deserts are the natural ecosystems.Dams, gardens, parks which humans make are artificial ecosystems.
These are formed naturally without any human intervention.Zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens are examples of artificial ecosystems maintained to conserve biodiversity.
It refers to a community of living and nonliving organisms interacting with each other through physical, biological and chemical processes.Plants and animals are placed in well-protected areas similar to their natural habitats.

In conclusion, the ecosystem is the structural and functional unit of ecology. It is of two types, Terrestrial ecosystem and aquatic ecosystem. The ecosystem promotes life-saving mechanisms and ensures sustainability.

  1. State the structure of the ecosystem.
    The ecosystem structure involves the species and physical characteristics of the environment, including the amount and distribution of nutrients in a specific habitat. It also provides detail on the climatic conditions of the region.
  2. Which is the world’s largest ecosystem?
    The aquatic ecosystem is the largest in the world. It has freshwater and coastal ecosystems and makes up 70% of Earth’s surface.
  3. What is the primary function of the ecosystem?
    The ecosystem acts as the functional unit of the environmental structure. The abiotic components are the matrix for the synthesis of organic components, entailing an energy exchange.
  4. What is a good ecosystem?
    A healthy ecosystem consists of natural plants and animal species communicating with each other and with the climate. A stable ecosystem has an energy supply and decomposers that break down dead plants and animal matter and return vital nutrients to the soil.
  5. What are all the non-living things in the ecosystem?
    Non-living objects in the ecosystem include air, wind, water, rock, dirt, temperature, and sunlight. These are regarded as ecosystem abiotic causes.

Find an extensive archive of video lessons at MSVgo to learn and understand the concept of ecosystem and other science topics!

High School Physics

  • Alternating Current
  • Atoms
  • Communication Systems
  • Current Electricity
  • Dual nature of Radiation and Matter
  • Electric Charges and Fields
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Electron Beams and Radioactivity
  • Electrons and Photons
  • Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
  • Fluid Pressure
  • Force and Acceleration
  • Force And Laws Of Motion
  • Gravitation
  • Internal Energy
  • Kinetic Theory
  • Law of motion
  • Light – Reflection And Refraction
  • Magnetic Effects Of Electric Current
  • Magnetism and Matter
  • Management Of Natural Resources
  • Mechanical properties of Fluids
  • Mechanical properties of Solids
  • Motion
  • Motion in a plane
  • Motion in a straight line
  • Moving Charges and Magnetism
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Nuclei
  • Oscillations
  • Our Environment
  • Paths of Heat
  • Physical world
  • Ray optics and optical instruments
  • Semiconductor Devices
  • Semiconductor Electronics: Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits
  • Simple Machines
  • Sound
  • Sources Of Energy
  • Specific and Latent Heats
  • Spherical Mirrors
  • Static Electricity
  • Systems of Particles and Rotational motion
  • Thermal properties of matter
  • Thermodynamics
  • Units and Measurement
  • Vectors, Scalar Quantities and Elementary Calculus
  • Wave Optics
  • Waves
  • Work, Power and Energy

High School Chemistry

  • Acids, Bases and Salts
  • Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers
  • Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids
  • Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Alkyl and Aryl Halides
  • Amines
  • Analytical Chemistry 
  • Atomic Structure
  • Atoms And Molecules
  • Basic concepts of Chemistry
  • Biomolecules
  • Carbon And Its Compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and Acid Derivatives
  • Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structures
  • Chemical Energetics
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Chemical Reactions And Equations
  • Chemical Reactions and Their Mechanisms
  • Chemistry in Everyday Life
  • Chemistry of p-Block elements
  • Chemistry of Transition and Inner Transition
  • Classification of Elements
  • Coordination Compounds
  • Cyanide, Isocyanide, Nitro compounds and Amines
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrolysis
  • Elements, Compounds and Mixtures
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Equilibrium
  • Ethers and Carbonyl compounds
  • Haloalkanes and Haloarenes
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrogen
  • Ideal solutions
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Ionic equilibria
  • Matter
  • Matter Around Us
  • Matter In Our Surroundings
  • Metallurgy
  • Metals And Non-Metals
  • Mole Concept and Stoichiometry
  • Natural Resources
  • Organic Chemistry – Basic Principles
  • Periodic Classification of Elements
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Physical and Chemical Properties of Water
  • Polymers
  • Preparation, Properties and Uses of Compounds
  • Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements
  • Redox Reactions
  • Relative Molecular Mass and Mole
  • States of Matter
  • Structure Of The Atom
  • Study of Compounds
  • Study of Gas Laws
  • Study of Representative Elements
  • Surface Chemistry
  • The d-block and f-block elements
  • The Gaseous State
  • The p-Block Elements
  • The Periodic Table
  • The s-Block Elements
  • The Solid State
  • Thermodynamics

High School Biology

  • Absorption and Movement of Water in Plants
  • Adolescent Issues
  • Anatomy of Flowering Plants
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Bacteria and Fungi-Friends and Foe
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Biofertilizers
  • Biological Classification
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomolecules
  • Biotechnology and its Applications
  • Biotic Community
  • Body Fluids and Circulation
  • Breathing and Exchange of Gases
  • Cell – Unit of Life
  • Cell Cycle and Cell Division
  • Cell Division and Structure of Chromosomes
  • Cell Reproduction
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Chemical Coordination and Integration
  • Circulation
  • Control And Coordination
  • Crop Improvement
  • Digestion and Absorption
  • Diversity In Living Organisms
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Issues
  • Excretory Products and their Elimination
  • Flowering Plants
  • Genes and Chromosomes
  • Health and Diseases
  • Health and Its Significance
  • Heredity And Evolution
  • Heredity and Variation
  • How Do Organisms Reproduce?
  • Human Diseases
  • Human Eye And Colourful World
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Human Population
  • Human Reproduction
  • Hygiene
  • Improvement In Food Resources
  • Integumentary System- Skin
  • Kingdom Fungi
  • Kingdom Monera
  • Kingdom Protista
  • Life Processes
  • Locomotion and Movement
  • Microbes in Human Welfare
  • Mineral Nutrition
  • Molecular Basis of Inheritance
  • Morphology of Flowering Plants
  • Neural Control And Coordination
  • Nutrition in Human Beings
  • Organism and Population
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthesis in Higher Plants
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Plant Kingdom
  • Pollination and Fertilization
  • Pollution; Sources and its effects
  • Principles of Inheritance and Variation
  • Reproduction and Development in Angiosperms
  • Reproduction in Organisms
  • Reproductive Health
  • Respiration in Human Beings
  • Respiration in Plants
  • Respiratory System
  • Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants
  • Strategies for Enhancement in Food Production
  • Structural Organisation in Animals
  • Structural Organisation of the Cell
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Fundamental Unit Of Life
  • The Living World
  • The Nervous System and Sense Organs
  • Tissues
  • Transpiration
  • Transport in Plants

High School Math

  • Algebra – Arithmatic Progressions
  • Algebra – Complex Numbers and Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra – Linear Inequalities
  • Algebra – Pair of Linear Equations in Two Variables
  • Algebra – Polynomials
  • Algebra – Principle of Mathematical Induction
  • Algebra – Quadratic Equations
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Calculus – Applications of Derivatives
  • Calculus – Applications of the Integrals
  • Calculus – Continuity and Differentiability
  • Calculus – Differential Equations
  • Calculus – Integrals
  • Geometry – Area
  • Geometry – Circles
  • Geometry – Conic Sections
  • Geometry – Constructions
  • Geometry – Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry
  • Geometry – Three-dimensional Geometry
  • Geometry – Lines and Angles
  • Geometry – Quadrilaterals
  • Geometry – Straight Lines
  • Geometry – Triangles
  • Linear Programming
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Mensuration – Areas
  • Mensuration – Surface Areas and Volumes
  • Number Systems
  • Number Systems – Real Numbers
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Probability
  • Sequence and Series
  • Sets and Functions
  • Statistics 
  • Trignometry – Height and Distance
  • Trignometry – Identities
  • Trignometry – Introduction

Middle School Science

  • Acids, Bases And Salts
  • Air and Its Constituents
  • Basic Biology
  • Body Movements
  • Carbon and Its Compounds
  • Cell – Structure And Functions
  • Changes Around Us
  • Chemical Effects Of Electric Current
  • Chemistry in Your Life
  • Coal And Petroleum
  • Combustion And Flame
  • Components Of Food
  • Conservation Of Plants And Animals
  • Crop Production And Management
  • Electric Current And Its Effects
  • Electricity And Circuits
  • Elements and Compounds
  • Fibre To Fabric
  • Food production and management
  • Force And Pressure
  • Forests: Our Lifeline
  • Friction
  • Fun With Magnets
  • Garbage In, Garbage Out
  • Getting To Know Plants
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen
  • Life Processes: Nutrition in Animals and Plants
  • Light, Shadows And Reflections
  • Materials: Metals And Non-Metals
  • Matter and Its States
  • Metals and Non-metals
  • Micro Organisms: Friend And Foe
  • Motion And Measurement Of Distances
  • Motion And Time
  • Nutrition In Animals
  • Nutrition In Plants
  • Organization in Living Things
  • Our Environment
  • Physical And Chemical Changes
  • Pollution and conservation
  • Pollution Of Air And Water
  • Reaching The Age Of Adolescence
  • Reproduction In Animals
  • Reproduction In Plants
  • Respiration In Organisms
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Separation Of Substances
  • Simple Machines
  • Soil
  • Some Natural Phenomena
  • Sorting Materials Into Groups
  • Sound
  • Stars And The Solar System
  • Structure of Atom
  • Synthetic Fibers And Plastics
  • The Living Organisms And Their Surroundings
  • Transfer of Heat
  • Transformation of Substances
  • Transportation In Animals And Plants
  • Universe
  • Waste-water Story
  • Water: A Precious Resource
  • Weather, Climate And Adaptations Of Animals To Climate
  • Winds, Storms And Cyclones

Middle School Math

  • Addition
  • Area and Its Boundary
  • Boxes and Sketches
  • Data Handling
  • Fun With Numbers
  • Heavy and Light
  • How Many
  • Long And Short
  • Mapping
  • Measurement
  • Money
  • Multiplication and Factors
  • Multiply and Divide
  • Numbers
  • Parts and Wholes
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Patterns
  • Play With Patterns
  • Rupees And Paise
  • Shapes And Angles
  • Shapes And Designs
  • Shapes and Space
  • Similarity
  • Smart Charts
  • Squares
  • Subtraction
  • Tables And Shares
  • Tenths and Hundredths
  • Time
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