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Types of ecosystems and their characteristics

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Types of ecosystems and their characteristics

Within our planet Earth we have to take into account that there are different environments in which living beings carry out their day to day. In this lesson from a PROFESSOR we will make an outline with the types of ecosystems and their characteristicsFor this we must first know what an ecosystem is and then we will see the different types that exist on our planet and, finally, the characteristics of each one. We will also talk about how we can help maintain these ecosystems in order to preserve our nature and protect the environment.

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  1. Definition of ecosystem
  2. Terrestrial ecosystem
  3. Water
  4. Aerial ecosystem
  5. Other types of ecosystem classification
  6. How to conserve ecosystems?

Definition of ecosystem.

An ecosystem is a set that is made up of living beings that inhabit a community, the environment they inhabit and the relationships that occur in it. For this reason, we must also define the term community, which can be understood as a zone or area with a variable extension.

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If we stop at the physical environment and relationships, we should know that living beings carry out a series of activities throughout their life in which they are feeding, creating burrows,... that is, elements that may or may not change the environment that them surrounds ..

What we have to be clear about is that all communities of living beings that inhabit the same environment have relationships with each other and on many occasions they could not live separately, because each one has its function within the environment that surrounds them. That is why when their habitat is excessively transformed, the point can reach where these species cannot adapt to it and end up becoming extinct.

Types of ecosystems and their characteristics - Definition of ecosystem

Terrestrial ecosystem.

The type of terrestrial ecosystem It is formed by all that portion of land that is found on the continents or in their subsoil, but that are separated from the sea.

Within this ecosystem we will find that the most numerous living beings will be insects, of which some 900,000 are known species, in second place in the ranking we would find birds with 8,500 different types and in third place mammals with 4.100. Within this group we can make a series of subsections:

  • Tropical forests: they are dense ecosystems in which several different types of species coexist in a very small area. They are usually found below 1,200 m in height and have a fairly constant light and temperature throughout the year.
  • Tropical forests: They have a great vegetation with a great diversity of plant species, of which we will highlight huge trees, it is in these vegetations where we will find different types of animal species, depending on the height level where we let's find. They tend to have annual rainfall of 400 inches.
  • Temperate forests: trees, mosses and ferns often make up these types of ecosystems. The climate in these places usually varies between winter and summer, with the trees losing their leaves in winters.
  • Tundra: It is characterized by having a cold climate, in fact the ground remains frozen for much of the year, thawing in summer. The rainfall is very low, which is why it does not usually house many communities of living beings. Therefore, we will not find a large vegetation, but on the contrary, what there will be will be mosses, lichens and some small tree species.
  • Taiga: it is the passage between temperate and arctic climatic regions, and is usually determined by its coniferous vegetation. It also usually has temperatures below zero degrees for half a year and the rest of the months is the habitat of migratory birds and insects.
  • Desert: It barely has 25% of annual precipitation, on the other hand it covers 17% of our planet. We have to warn that the fauna and flora will be quite scarce in most of its parts, within this we will find:
  • Bed sheet: They are the so-called tropical meadows, in which we will find few trees, although we will find a large number of herbivores and carnivores.
  • Prairies: we will not find any trees, we will only find grasses, tall, medium and long.
  • Mountain: we will find a great diversity of fauna and flora, in the highest areas, the living conditions make it almost impossible, for which we will find a small proportion of vegetation (not trees) and the few communities of living beings that we will find will have a thick layer of skin.

In this other lesson from a TEACHER we will discover the parts of the earth.

Ecosystem types and their characteristics - Terrestrial ecosystem


Continuing with our lesson on the different types of ecosystems and their characteristics, we turn now to everything that concerns rivers, lakes and oceans. The different species that we will find in these spaces will have a great similarity, we can divide said ecosystem into fresh water and salt water. On the other hand, we must know that this type of ecosystem represents 75% of our planet. Within this we can find different communities of living beings such as:

  • Benthic: it is found at the bottom of ecosystems and is made up of algae.
  • Nectonics: They are animals that have a strong level of displacement and use water currents to move at a higher speed.
  • Plactonic: They are living beings that float in water and are carried by the current, that is, they do not have any mobility.
  • Neustonics: They also live on the sea surface and are carried by the current like the previous ones.

Air ecosystem.

It is a transition ecosystem, that is, that it is not permanently inhabited by any living being, since they must go down to the terrestrial ecosystem to rest, feed,... for this reason in many occasions it is usually put into the terrestrial ecosystem.

Other types of ecosystem classification.

We can say that in addition to the types of ecosystems that we have seen before, there is another way to summarize them:

  • Natural ecosystems: in which man has not acted for their formation such as lakes, deserts or forests.
  • Artificial ecosystems: man has intervened in its formation, such as dams, gardens ...

They can also be classified according to size and, this is how we have these two types:

  • Microsystems: we can say that they are very tiny elements such as a drop of water or a flowerpot, among other objects, ...
  • Macrosystems: These elements can be an ocean, a mountain range, a desert,….
Types of ecosystems and their characteristics - Other types of classification of ecosystems

How to conserve ecosystems?

One of the most destructive factors of the different ecosystems is human activity, therefore and to conclude with our summary on the types of ecosystems and their characteristics We can give some guidelines to avoid the great deterioration that is taking place because of us:

  • The proper use of fuelsAlso looking for the least polluting is essential to avoid expelling so many gases into the environment.
  • One way to maintain our ecosystem is Recycle what we no longer use or our waste for another use later.
  • We must try do not alter our environment so that the different communities of living beings can continue with their activities.
  • The moderate use of water it is very important not to end it.

If you want to read more articles similar to Types of ecosystems and their characteristics, we recommend that you enter our category of Geography.

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