AIR ECOSYSTEM: what it is, characteristics and types

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The aerial ecosystem has aroused curiosities and questions since time immemorial, forming part of numerous studies and investigations. The Mayans, for example, were already developing hypotheses and research about its operation and the processes that took place above the earth's surface, calling the aerial ecosystem as the supraworld and, on the contrary, that which was under the earth's surface as underworld. Today, we do not use these terms, but rather, we divide it into aerial, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. However, although the name is different, the idea is the same. At Ecologista Verde we invite you to continue knowing what is an aerial ecosystem, its characteristics and types.

What is the aerial ecosystem: definition

An ecosystem is the system that makes up a set of living beings and the environment, including their physical and chemical factors with which they are related. All these organisms, although they are independent beings, share the same habitat, so that, thanks to their interaction with it and with other organisms, they form an ecosystem.

As for the air environment, we understand that which is produced mainly in the air, therefore, a aerial ecosystem It will be that system formed by the organisms, physical and chemical factors that interact and are related in this environment.

It must be taken into account that most organisms and species use the air as means of transportation, to socialize or search for food, but they do not spend their entire lives in this environment, but rather combine it with others such as terrestrial or aquatic. This occurs, for example, in the case of plants that use the wind to disperse and transport their seeds in order to reproduce or birds that cross the skies to move, despite sleeping and spending part of their lives in nests located in the trees.

Components of the aerial ecosystem

As we have mentioned before, an aerial ecosystem is composed of both physical, chemical and biological factors. More specifically, components of the aerial ecosystem are:

  • Physical factors: mainly, they are those parameters that affect the ecosystem such as air movement, humidity, pressure, temperature, noise, vibrations and ionizing radiation.
  • Chemical factors: are all those components that can be found in the air environment, mainly gases, such as neon, helium, methane, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, ozone and aerosols.
  • Biological factors: They are those living organisms such as plants, animals and microorganisms that are found in this environment, such as birds, insects and even some mammals.

Animals of the aerial ecosystem

The animals of the aerial ecosystem are part of the biological components of this. There is a great diversity and number of species that are part of these ecosystems:

  • Insects: they can have very varied structures and wings. Ladybugs, beetles, bees, wasps, ants, flies, mosquitoes, butterflies, and moths. For example, in the image in the first section we can see a bee flying and about to perch on a flower to feed.
  • Birds: it is their wings that have allowed them to conquer this element. They also have other adaptations such as their hollow bones or feathers that offer them protection and at the same time are very light. Some examples of birds are: pigeons, canaries, goldfinches, swallows, seagulls, eagles, hawks, toucans, pelicans, flamingos and parrots. As an example, we can see the cover photo of this article in which we see a kind of seagull flying.
  • Mammals: bats or bats are the only mammals that can fly and that, therefore, are part of aerial ecosystems, although there are also some animals that, although they cannot fly, glide, by using a skin similar to wings such as the case of squirrels, lizards and snakes. Learn more about Flying and Gliding Mammals in this other Green Ecologist article.

Examples of aerial ecosystems

An ecosystem is defined mainly by its components and the interaction and relationship produced between them, therefore, some examples of aerial ecosystems it's conformed:

  • Insects that have wings and use the air environment to move and search for food, as is the case with bees that move from flower to flower in search of nectar, or that can communicate through their movements in the air. However, not only insects that have wings can be part of the aerial ecosystem. There are insects and arachnids that move through threads and air currents.
  • Plants, such as mosses, fungi and orchids that use the air environment, and take advantage of air flows so that their seeds can disperse and reach new territories. In fact, some seeds even have adaptations such as helical wings to be able to reach and exceed greater distances.
  • Bats that are part of the aerial ecosystem, feeding on some insects, generally nocturnal, such as moths, move in this environment and communicate through sound waves that are transmitted through the air.

If you want to read more articles similar to Air ecosystem: what it is, characteristics and types, we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category.

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