What is an Ecosystem? An area where non-living and living things interact. Terrestrial ecosystems are land ecosystems. Aquatic ecosystems are water based ecosystems. Biotic organisms are things that live or lived. Abiotic are nonliving materials. A biome is an area with various smaller ecosystems in it. The major 5 biomes are aquatic, deserts, tundra, grassland, and forest.
Forest There are 3 types of forests. There are deciduous forests which have changing leaves and are most common in North America. Coniferous forests are made up of tree’s that stay green all year long and usually have thin needle like leaves Rain forests are tropical forests that has a wide variety of animals and plants. One of the most well known is the Amazon. They get a modern amount of rain with the exception of the rain forests
Grasslands Get less rain than forests Very fertile soil but few tree’s due to the small amount of rain. Very open and warm. In Africa they are called savannahs. In America they are called prairies.
Tundra A tundra is a frozen desert but not desolate. It can hold some trees (like a birch here and a small willow there)and 1,700 species of vegetation. Insects and birds are abundant here along with 48 species mammals. Most tundra's are located in the Northern Hemisphere. Tundra’s are one of the three major carbon dioxide sinks. This means they actually get rid of more carbon dioxide than they produce because when the organisms die and decay they can’t release the carbon dioxide in their matter because it is so cold.
Desert Very hot and dry, and very little rain. Some deserts have drastic temperature changes. It could be 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the day but drop to -20 degrees Fahrenheit at night. The worlds largest desert is the Sahara Desert in Africa. The world’s hottest desert is Death Valley located within the Mojave desert in Eastern California. It’s hottest temperature reached 134 Fahrenheit on July 10 th, 1913.
Aquatic Ecosystems These are water based ecosystems and can be saltwater, brackish water or freshwater. The biomes that are water based are oceans, estuaries, lakes & ponds. Some of these ecosystems get so deep sunlight doesn’t reach the bottom at all.
Lakes and Ponds These are bodies of water isolated by land. Temperatures stay pretty even throughout their waters. Lakes are bigger than ponds. These are primarily freshwater although they are known to be saltwater or brackish as seen in the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The world’s largest lake is Lake Victoria located in Africa. These have a rocky clay bottom.
Oceans Most ecosystems in this biome live near the surface where it is light and food is abundant. This is a saltwater ecosystem. There are 5 oceans and they are the Pacific, Atlantic, Southern, Arctic, and Indian The ocean appears blue because of how the light hits it and how our eyes register the hues it is giving off. Animals that live here fall under these groups: crustaceans, reptiles, mammals, fish, birds(penguins), and invertebrates.
Estuaries This is a brackish( a mixture of salt and fresh water) watered ecosystem. They are located where rivers meet the see in most parts of the world. Estuaries are large bodies of water located in coastal area. Many animal species including humans depend on this biome for food and homes(in our case jobs). These usually have a cool climate and get direct sunlight.
Producers, Consumers, Decomposers, Producers are at the beginning of a food web or chain because they can make their own food through a process called photosynthesis. All plants are producers. Consumers are organisms that can’t make their own food and depend on other organisms for energy whether it’s another animal or a plant. Decomposers eat any dead and decaying matter laying around. More moisture means less dead matter. Most bacteria and fungi are decomposers along with some species of bugs. Herbivores are primarily plant eaters. These organisms have special digestive tracks to brake down the tough plant fibers. Omnivores eat both vegetation and animal. Some omnivores include bears, humans and pigs. Carnivores eat primarily meats. They need more energy (food) than herbivores and omnivores.
Symbiosis Symbiosis is the relationship between two species of animal. Mutualism is when to animals depend on each other for survival and both species benefit. Commensalism is when two species interact but only one benefits. Parasitism is when one species picks a host and feeds off it. The host is harmed but usually not killed.
Energy In a food web the plant has the most energy. Every time an organism eats another it loses 10% of the energy it eats. Tertiary consumers need a lot of food to maintain their energy because they are the top of the food pyramid.