Components of an Ecosystem

by • 13/04/2012 • New Pattern Biology NotesComments (0)550


Interaction of all the organisms of a community with each other and with their non-living environment is called an ecological system or ecosystem. It is actually an organized system of a community which forms stable unit of the biosphere.

Components of an Ecosystem:

Ecosystem consists of two components:

(i)      Biotic Components                  (ii) Abiotic Gompohehts


(i)         Biotic Components:

An ecosystem may be an ocean, a forest, a pond, an artificial aquarium, or even a single, drop of water. The living organisms that interact in an ecosystem make up its biotic components. Biotic component include producers, “Consumer and decomposers.


(ii)        Abiotic Components:

Abiotic-components include physical aspects of its surrounding which influence the biotic components. Most important abiotic component affect an ecosystem are light, temperature, water, soil and air.


Significance in an Ecosystem:

The composition of air and its velocity, change in temperature, intensity of light, water arid soil alter abiotic factors of the environment and ultimately affects the plant life, and the ecosystem.

Abiotic factors determine which organisms are found where.

(i)    Light:

Lights is very important factor that corning from the sun is the source of energy for ecosystem. It is necessary for photosynthesis. Distribution of plants and animals is affected by the type, intensity and exposure time of light.


(ii)        Temperature:

Temperature is also an important factor affecting an ecosystem. Temperature changes! during the day and night and also varies from season to season.

Many birds and a few mammals migrate or hibernate in winter most form of life and cannot survive in extreme temperature.

(iii)       Water:

Water is a very imported factor. It is essential for the life of all living organisms it is the major part of the protoplasm. It acts as a solvent for most of the .metabolites. It is the raw material for photosynthesis.


(iv)       Soil

It is the upper layer of earth. It consists of soil particles of different sizes. In soil micro-organisms decompose the dead animals and plants to increase its water and air holding capacity.


v)         Air:

Air-is a gaseous envelope which surrounds the earth. It plays an important role in the smooth running of ecosystem. Air is the mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapours.  Atmospheric nitrogen converted into nitrates; taken up by plant along with the nitrates of decaying organism for the building up of their protein.


Photosynthesis requires sunlight, carbon dioxide, water and chlorophyll



Humidity which is the concentration of water vapours in the air control the rate of evaporation of water and transpiration in plants.


Energy transfer:

Energy is required by all living organism to perform their life activities. Its primary source is solar energy from the sun.



Trophic levels:

(i)         Producers make up the trophic level in all ecosystems. Producers trap energy and convert into energy rich organic food. Part of this energy is transformed to primary consumer when they eat producers.


(ii)        Primary consumer when eaten up transfer the energy to secondary consumers which in turn from the meal of tertiary consumers.


(iii)       Hence the energy is transferred to the next level the, the tertiary consumers. “These steps of transfer of energy rich food are, called trophic levels.”


Food Web:

“A food web is a network of food chain representing the feeding relationships among the organisms in an ecosystem.” In a food web an animal has many options of food to eat.

Examples:       A snake may eat a frog, a lizard, a bird or a rat

An eagle may eat a frog, a rabbit, a snake or bird, similarly omnivores eat both plants and animals.


The type of food can be changed according to the availability of food and age of animals.

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