Ecosystem – material and energy cycles

Ecosystem – material and energy cycles
02/01/2015 Margarida Moreira

The ecosystem is a biological community (biotic environment) that interacts simultaneously with each other and with the environment (abiotic environment), capable of generating energy and renew the air – the fundamental processes are the transformation of energy and the biogeochemical cycle.

When approaching “ecological ecosystem”: individuals (psychology and behavior, reproduction, development), populations (habitat, resources needed to ensure the survival of the species) and communities (interaction of species with each other – prey, predators, resources) are analyzed as a whole.

The components required for a functioning ecosystem are the biotic – producers, consumers and decomposers: primary producers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, scavengers – and abiotic – sun, temperature, humidity, water and earth – to create a material and energy cycles, when one element disappears affect the entire ecosystem.

An example of ecosystem – material and energy cycles – are the lakes: when solar energy reaches the water, promotes plant growth (in this example, algae) producing oxygen to the animals and provides nourishment for herbivores beings, in turn, are consumed by carnivorous animals that breathe ie expel carbon dioxide that will be processed by plants. If the algae did not exist, the entire ecosystem would be affected. The same would happen in the case of solar energy: if it does not warm the water, it would not be able to evaporate and return to the atmosphere and consequently there would be no water cycle. The complete absence of solar energy also would interrupt the photosynthesis.

All parts of an ecosystem work together compromising balance.

The more diversity of species an ecosystem have, the healthier it will be!

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