What is an ecosystem?
Ecosystem is a concept used mainly by ecology, regarded as the object of study, and is related to a natural system formed by organized living together. One could speak of a community of beings, but also participate in it the climate, geological conditions, chemicals, etc. After all it is a level of organization of nature.
The organization of the ecosystem can be understood by the inability of an organism to survive on its own, is forced to interact with others, whether in the same or distant species.
Stopping the look analytically in an ecosystem, first you can see a biosphere (material system consisting of living things on Earth) heterogeneous and homogeneous subsequently different ecosystems. And within ecosystems is possible to see a hierarchical organization of ecosystems within other ecosystems. While, previously stated that it was possible to consider the ecosystem as a homogeneous system, but it has identifiable parts where conditions are different. An ecosystem is limited by imaginary lines called ecotones and gradients ecoclinas calls (such as humidity, temperature, light, etc.). A classification of ecosystem structures:
- Vertical (forest ecosystem)
- Horizontal (riparian ecosystem)
The organization of the ecosystem is conducted from performing exercises different people vital thereof. All ecosystems require a source of energy for its operation, it flows through various components for sustaining life in the medium; this primary energy source is the sun. Those who produce the primary materials, mainly photosynthesis are those that give energy and nutrients to the rest of the villagers. The energy and nutrients constantly circulate through the food chain and often the ground in this process plays a role, as it is able to recycle nutrients, converting inorganic matter into organic. So there is a constant movement of materials, some beings extract nutrients and energy from the ground, air or land and other living beings are drawn to the other, thus closing the cycle.
Within an ecosystem relationships between living things are varied; benefit, harm or neutrality. Here is a list of the most common.
- Competition: mainly lifestyles and similar needs
- Predation: population living at the expense of the other in hunting food needs
- Parasitism: tiny creatures that live in other living
- Commensalism: one species benefits at the expense of the other, but the latter is not affected.
- Cooperation: species benefit each other, can these survive independently.
- Mutualism: species benefit each other, unable to survive independently.