What Is An Ecosystem - And How Your Garden Is Part Of One
07.10.2023 - 04:01
/ Mary Ellen Ellis
You may not always think of your yard or garden as an ecosystem, but it is. As the gardener, you are part of the ecosystem too. How you garden impacts the ecosystem and the surrounding environment. It’s important to understand what this means, so you can make the right choices to maintain a healthy garden ecosystem.
An ecosystem is an area containing plants, animals, and other organisms and all their interactions. It also includes natural components, like minerals and water. Each component of an ecosystem influences the others. An ecosystem can be as large as the Amazon rainforest and as small as your backyard garden.
The components of any ecosystem can be divided into two types: biotic and abiotic. Biotic components are living organisms and include plants, fungi, microorganisms, and a variety of animals. They can be primary producers, herbivores or carnivores, omnivores, or detritivores, which are organisms that eat decaying organic matter, like earthworms.
Abiotic components of an ecosystem include water, sunlight, minerals, oxygen, and temperature. Soil is often a mixture of biotic and abiotic components.
The structure of an ecosystem is how it is organized and how the components interact. Biotic and abiotic components are the most basic element of the structure. Within each of those structures are substructures, such as the type of consumer and energy flow in the system.
Another important aspect of an ecosystem is the flow of energy through it. Energy moves from one component of the system to another in many complex ways. Sunlight is the primary source of energy in most ecosystems. Plants take energy from the sun to make food.
Plants, in turn, are eaten by animals, passing energy on to them. When a carnivore eats an