Interaction of biotic and abiotic components result in a physical structure that is characteristic for each type of ecosystem. Identification and enumeration of plant and animal species of an ecosystem gives its species composition.
According to Odum (1963) ecosystem is the basic functional unit of nature including both organisms and their non-living environment, each interacting with other and influencing each other properties, necessary for maintenance and development of the system.
Types of Ecosystem
Ecosystems can be categorised into various types based on their characteristics and the dominant organisms present. Here are some common types of ecosystems:
a. Forest Ecosystem: Includes diverse forests such as tropical rainforests, temperate deciduous forests, and boreal forests. They are characterised by a variety of trees, understory vegetation, and diverse animal species.
b. Grassland Ecosystem: Found in areas with moderate rainfall, grasslands are dominated by grasses and herbaceous plants. They can be further classified into savannahs, prairies, and steppes, with associated grazing animals.
c. Desert Ecosystem: Arid regions with low rainfall, deserts have sparse vegetation adapted to drought conditions. They include hot deserts (e.g., Sahara) and cold deserts (e.g., Gobi).
d. Tundra Ecosystem: Found in the Arctic and alpine regions, tundras have low temperatures, permafrost, and a short growing season. They consist of mosses, lichens, and small shrubs.
a. Freshwater Ecosystem: Includes rivers, lakes, ponds, and wetlands. They support a variety of aquatic plants, fish, amphibians, and invertebrates.
b. Marine Ecosystem: Found in oceans, seas, and estuaries, marine ecosystems are home to a diverse range of organisms, including phytoplankton, seaweeds, coral reefs, fish, and marine mammals.
c. Estuarine Ecosystem: Formed at the meeting point of freshwater rivers and saltwater bodies, estuaries are highly productive and support unique species adapted to brackish water conditions.
a. Urban Ecosystem: Human-made environments, such as cities, towns, and suburbs, with a mix of built structures, green spaces, and human activities.
b. Agricultural Ecosystem: Cultivated areas for crop production or livestock rearing, involving various agricultural practices and interactions between crops, livestock, and humans.
a. Wetland Ecosystem: Areas with water-saturated soils, such as marshes, swamps, and bogs, characterised by unique hydrological conditions and specific plant and animal adaptations.
b. Mountain Ecosystem: High-altitude regions with steep slopes, diverse climatic zones, and distinct flora and fauna adapted to harsh mountainous conditions.