MICROECOSYSTEM and MACROECOSYSTEM: what are they and examples - Summary

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The prefix micro- forms words that refer to small things and, on the contrary, the prefix macro- forms words with the meaning of big or very big. This concept is also applied in the field of ecosystems, so we can speak of microecosystems and macroecosystems, which refer to two different types of ecosystems classified according to their size.

If you want to know what is a microecosystem and a macroecosystem and examples, continue reading this Green Ecologist article in which you will see a summary of this topic.

What is a microecosystem

A microecosystem is one that develops in very small spaces or very small, that is, the territory where the interactions between biotope (geographic space characterized by certain environmental conditions) and biocenosis (organisms, animals and plants that inhabit the biotope) take place is barely a few centimeters. That is why the elements that are part of them, in general, are small to microscopic, and for their existence to be possible, specific conditions must be met.

Microecosystems change rapidly over time due to their size. In addition, in areas where extreme conditions occur, microecosystems can also form, since only some living beings are capable of living under these conditions.

Examples of microecosystem

Next, we will show some examples of microecosystems that can be found on the planet:

  • Near some volcanoes, there are sulphurous waters inhabited by bacteria. This microecosystem is unique in that it occurs under extreme conditions, and the bacteria that inhabit these waters can only develop and exist under such conditions.
  • The crust that is part of the trees that are in a riparian zone is also a microecosystem. In this moisture-delimited microecosystem, very small organisms such as liverworts, mosses, fungi and lichens can be identified.
  • A fishbowlAlthough it would be an artificial microecosystem, it would also be considered a microecosystem since it is a reduced space and the variability of species that can be found in them is small.
  • Microorganism cultures performed in Petri dishes are also considered microecosystems. The Petri dishes contain a culture medium, which is usually made up of nutrients and agar, so that the development of the microorganisms is possible, in addition, these plates must be placed in an incubator so that they are at a temperature that allows the growth of the microorganisms.

What is a macro-ecosystem

Macroecosystems span large spaces of the surface of the Earth, and in them you can find a great variety of plant and animal species. These large structures cover large geographic areas, and even in some cases occupy different climatic floors, as for example happens in boreal, temperate and tropical forests. Macroecosystems also undergo changes over time as occurs with smaller ecosystems, although these changes do not occur as fast and are found under different climatic conditions that change over time.

Knowing the macrosystems is important, since this way it is possible to know the functioning of the ecological and evolutionary processes, in addition, its conservation is also very important since they are being altered as a result of anthropic activities such as mining, deforestation , agriculture and intensive livestock, among others.

Examples of macroecosystems

Next, we will show some examples of macroecosystems that can be found on the planet:

  • The forests they are macroecosystems, since they occupy a large part of the earth's surface. They are so large that they extend over more than one climatic floor, for example, forests can be temperate, tropical and boreal.
  • The oceans occupying approximately 72% of the earth's surface, it is a macroecosystem in which a great variety of species are found.
  • A jungle is characterized by occupying an extensive territory in subtropical and tropical areas, and containing dense vegetation with great biodiversity in terms of its flora and fauna.
  • The tundra, is a macroecosystem considered the coldest on planet earth, characterized by having little vegetation, presenting frozen subsoils and lack of trees. The tundra is located in high latitudes, that is, in the polar areas, mainly in the northern hemisphere. Some of the regions where the tundra exists are Siberia, southern Greenland, Russia, Alaska, northern Canada, among others.
  • Steppe It comprises a flat area and of great extension, in it the herbaceous vegetation predominates and there is hardly any arboreal type. Their soils are not very fertile since they hardly present organic matter and contain abundant minerals. The steppe is a cold desert, it is named like this to differentiate it from the hot deserts, where there are very high temperatures.

If you want to learn more about these topics, we recommend this other article by Green Ecologist about the types of ecosystems that exist.

If you want to read more articles similar to Microecosystem and macroecosystem: what they are and examples, we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category.

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