Ecosystems Lauren Lewis

What is an Ecosystem?

An ecosystem is a complex interaction between different organisms, living and non living factors, in a small or big environment or area. The most important parts of an ecosystem are soil, sun, atmosphere, and living organisms.

There are three main parts to an ecosystem:

Producers: These are organisms that produce their own food, like green plants.

Consumers: These are organisms that get their nutrients from the producers, or from those who get their nutrients from the producers. This includes herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores.

Decomposers: These are organisms that break down other dead organisms back into organic material to start the cycle all over again. This includes, bacteria, fungi, and worms.

Each of the elements of the ecosystem are very important. If one elements was wiped out, it could put the entire ecosystem at risk if not destroy the whole thing. Ecosystems are so fragile, but the more diverse and big the ecosystem is, the less fragile it becomes. (Jenga)

The size of ecosystems can be organized into three groups, biome, messo, and micro.

Rainforest (biome)

Rainforests is the most complex ecosystem because of the amount and diversity of species it has. There are different levels of plants in a rainforest. The highest being the trees, that make a closed canopy. Next is the vines, orchids, and epiphytes that grow high to reach more sunlight. Lower are the ferns and small trees, and last the plants that grow on the rainforest floor. The animals are just as diverse as the plants. There are many insects that seem to live in ideal conditions so they thrive along with the reptiles and frogs. There are many colorful chirping birds, and since they usually live in the canopy there are many tree snakes. There are also mammals that live in the trees and all around. Because the rainforest is so big and has such a diverse range of species, it is a very hard ecosystem to destroy.

Producers: The trees that grow high and low, fruit trees, and the vines, orchid, and epiphytes.

Consumers: The mammals living in the trees and on the floors, the birds, insects, and reptiles, along with any other animal found.

Decomposers: Fungi found on the floors of the rainforests, bacteria, earthworms, termites, and other single celled creatures.

Lake (messo)

The lake ecosystem is a freshwater ecosystem, it is medium size, which makes it a messo. The organisms include lots of algae and other plants, and animals, such as fish and other carnivorous animals. Animals that live in this ecosystem are based around the water. Some animals need to live in the water to breathe, and they live on both land and water, they need to be able to hold their breath for a long time. Other animals include birds that rely on the fish living in the water.

Producers: Phytoplankton are one of the biggest sources of food for other producers. They are one of the basis of this ecosystem

Consumers: Zooplankton, fish bigger and smaller, other carnivorous animals like herons and beavers.

Decomposers: Fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms

Tree Trunk (micro)

The micro ecosystem is much smaller than you'd expect. A tree trunk is not going to have a very diverse range of species, because of how small it is. Also, the size and how common it is makes the ecosystem very easy to destroy. But since it is so easy to destroy, the animals in that ecosystem are quickly able to find a new home.

Producers: Small green plants that grow on and around the tree

Consumers: Lost of insects that either live in the tree or just eat the plants, the frogs and other larger animals that may eat the insects, and the largest animals, such as snakes, that eat the frogs and other such animals.

Decomposers: Fungi, such as mushrooms, that grow on the trunk, earthworms, and small bacteria

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Created with images by waferboard - "big ol' stump"

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