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What is ecosystem? Ecosystem is the community of living organisms with non-living organisms as they exist in their natural, undisturbed environment. Natural environment would include things like water, soil and air. An ecosystem can be a small space where an organism lives to a huge place such as the wilds of Africa. Some scientists even consider the entire planet as an ecosystem.
In the early 1930s, Arthur Roy Clapham introduced the term "ecosystem." The concept of the ecosystem was to draw public and scientific attention to the importance of the relationship between organisms and their environment.
Water, soil minerals, nitrogen and energy are all essential abiotic components of an ecosystem. The Sun provides the primary energy of an ecosystem. It enters into the system through the process of photosynthesis (in plants) and it must also capture carbons from the atmosphere. By the breaking down of carbons through decomposition, nutrients in the decomposed organic matter are restored back into the environment. These restored nutrients once again provide food for plants and other microbes and continue in a cyclonic pattern.
The ecosystem is controlled by both internal factors and external factors. An external factor would include the climate and the topography of the area. The topography is the Earth’s surface, shape and formation, such as lowlands, hills or mountains. Flat areas or rocky also are part of an area’s topography. Additional external factors include the passage of time and potential biota. Biota is the collection of organisms in a specific geographical region or time period.
Altering the Ecosystem:
When a non-native species is introduced into an ecosystem, it can dramatically alter the nature of the entire ecosystem. For example, if a shark is introduced into an area where sharks are not known to inhabit, it can wipe the area out of native fishes, as well as change the aquatic plant life in the area that had been controlled by native fishes and other aquatic life-forms. Among all living organisms, man impacts the ecosystem in the most dramatic ways, both in altering it for the worse or for the better.
Ecosystems provide goods and services upon which animals and man depend. To maintain a balanced ecosystem, an ecosystem management program can help to manage individual species. Ecologists, however, have not agreed upon any one way to accomplish a balance through the ecosystem management.
Ecosystem management is a process in which man has tried to conserve the natural environment, as well as the species that exist within that environment, and at the same time address the socioeconomic, political and cultural needs of the human population both in the present time and in the future times. The ecosystem management concept is based on the relationship that exists between sustainable resource maintenance and human demand for the use of natural resources.
As a result, scientists also try to implement a natural resource management. The natural resource management deals with specific resources for humans to use rather than the management of the ecosystem itself.