Ecological systems o ecosystems They are very important in regard to their abiotic and biotic richness, the latter being the so-called biodiversity or diversity of living beings. Biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as genetic variations make up one of the fundamental bases of life on our planet.
Would you like to know about ecological systems? Do you want to discover what the different types of ecosystems are and see some examples? If so, do not miss this interesting Green Ecologist article in which you will see a summary about what are ecological systems and examples from them.
We start with the definition of ecological system. An ecological system or ecosystem is a system formed by living organisms that belong to several species, which interact with each other and organize themselves in a certain environment.
So we have, on the one hand, the biotic factors (animals, plants, fungi, protists, bacteria, etc.), whose grouping we will call biocenosis and, on the other hand, we have the abiotic factors (physical and chemical factors of the place where they live, such as the climate or the type of soil) that constitutes the so-called biotope. Here you can learn more about the Difference between biotope and biocenosis, their relationship and examples. We also offer you more detailed explanations in these other articles about What are abiotic factors, their characteristics and examples and What are biotic factors, their characteristics and examples.
It is interesting to note here that the discipline that deals with the study of ecosystems is called systems ecology, although more than a discipline it is an interdisciplinary field. Systems ecology has a holistic orientation, that is, it studies ecosystems as a whole and not just the parts that make them up.
Let's see next what are the characteristics of ecological systems. First of all, it is important to know that one of the ecosystem characteristics it is that there are several levels of organization in them. These are:
Another characteristic of ecological systems is that energy flows through all their levels of organization, thus giving rise to three different types of individuals or trophic levels: producers, consumers and decomposers:
The energy taken by the producers is progressively lost or eliminated as they pass through each of the groups described. Why does this happen? It is because organisms use that energy to be able to move and generate heat, as well as to grow and reproduce. This results in a pyramidal structure of ecological systems, where the producers would be at the base and, on this, the different types of consumers in an orderly manner (carnivores on top of herbivores).
We advise you to also read these other Green Ecologist articles on How an ecosystem works and What are the components of an ecosystem.
The classification of ecological systems It can be done based on different criteria depending on the field of interest. In this way, if we are interested in the intervention of man, they can be classified into:
If what is taken into account is how living beings adapt to their environment, then we can classify them into:
Finally, another classification is the one that takes into account the flows of energy and matter, being able to classify them into:
Finally, it is important to comment that there are combinations of the different classifications, for example, we can find a closed aquatic natural ecosystem or an open terrestrial artificial ecosystem.
Here you can read more about the different types of ecosystems or ecological systems and here below you can see a video on the subject. Also, in this other post we talk about the Diversity of ecosystems.
To finish, we give different examples of ecological systems explained above:
Now that you have learned all this about ecological systems, we encourage you to read these other articles on What is the importance of ecosystems and How to take care of the ecosystem.
If you want to read more articles similar to Ecological systems: what they are and examples, we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category.