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ECOSYSTEM
STRUCTURE
Charilyn d. dela cruz
According to E.P.Odum, an American ecologist, an ecosystem is the
basic functional unit of organism and their environment interacting
with each other and with their own components.
An ecosystem includes all organisms that live in a particular place,
plus the abiotic environment in which they live - and with which
they interact – at that location.
ECOSYSTEM
❶ The composition of biological community including species,
numbers, biomass, life history and distribution in space..
❷ The quantity and distribution of non living materials like
nutrients, water etc.
❸The range of condition for existence such as temperature, light
etc.
❹ The structure of ecosystem is characterized
by the organization of the biotic and
abiotic components.
STRUCTURE OF AN ECOSYSTEM
BIOTIC COMPONENTS
ABIOTIC COMPONENTS
Climatic
factors
Inorganic
substances
Organic
substances
Carbon cycle
Nitrogen cycle
Water cycle
Sunlight
Precipitation
Humidity
Wind action
Lipids
Proteins
Carbohydrates
Edaphic
factors
Soil
topography
minerals
soil
ABIOTIC COMPONENTS
A. Climatic Factors
Sunlight
precipitation
humidity
wind action
Inorganic Substance
These includes elements such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen,
etc., used in the synthesis of complex substances and
involved in material cycle.
Example
Carbon Cycle
Nitrogen Cycle
Oxygen Cycle
Phosphorous
CARBON,THE BASIS OF ORGANIC COMPOUNDS , CYCLESTHROUGH
MOST ECOSYSTEM
 Carbon is a major constituent of
the bodies of organisms because
carbon atoms help form the
framework of all organic
compounds.
CO2 is the most significant carbon
containing compound in the
environment of organisms.
It makes up 0.03% of the volume
of the atmosphere.
 CO2 is taken up by plants during
photosynthesis.
 Animals eat the photosynthetic
organisms and build their own
tissues by making use of the carbon
atoms in the organic compounds
they ingest.
 Both photosynthetic organism and
animals obtain their energy by
breaking down some of the organic
compounds available to them.
 CO2 is released by organisms during
respiration and decomposition
 CO2 is also released by automobiles
and industries
 In aquatic ecosystem CO2 reacts
spontaneously with the water to
form bicarbonate ions (HNO3-)
which act as sources of carbon for
photosynthesis by algae and
aquatic plants.
 Methanogens, are microbes that
produce methane instead of CO2.
 Methane that enters the
atmosphere is oxidized to CO2 but
CH4 that remains isolated from
oxygen can persist for great lengths
of time.
 Burning of fossil fuel have
created imbalance in the
carbon cycle.
 Carbon that took million of
years to accumulate in fossil
fuels is being rapidly
returned on the atmosphere
thus contribute much on
global warming.
WATER CYCLE
Water is so crucial that changes in
its supply in an ecosystem can
radically alter the nature of an
ecosystem.
WATER CYCLE PROCESSES
Evaporation
Condensation
Precipitation
Run off
Percolation & Infiltration
Transpiration
Completion of cycle
• 78 % of the volume of
troposphere.
• Most complex cycle
• N2 gas can’t be used ‘as
is’ – it must be “fixed” so
that organisms can use
it
• STEPSTOTHE CYCLE
Nitrogen fixation
Assimilation
Ammonification
Nitrification
Denitrification
NITROGEN FIXATION
 Atmospheric Nitrogen must be processed, or “fixed” for plant use.
 Some fixation occurs through lightning strikes but most fixation if done by free
living or symbiotic bacteria
ASSIMILATION
 Plants get nitrogen from the soil, by absorption of their roots in the form of
either nitrate ions or ammonium ions.
AMMONIFICATION
 When a plant or animal dies, or an animal expels waste , initial form of nitrogen
is organic.
 Bacteria or fungi in some cases, convert the organic nitrogen within the remains
back into ammonium (NH4+) in the process called ammonification and
mineralization.
NITRIFICATION
 The conversion of ammonium to nitrate is
performed primarily by soil living bacteria and
other nitrifying bacteria.
 The oxidation of ammonium (NH4+) - is by
bacteria Nitrosomonas species
The nitrites by nitrobacteria
DENITRIFICATION
 The reduction of nitrates back into the largely
inert Nitrogen gas (N2) completing the Nitrogen
Cycle
 Is performed by bacterial species such as
pseudomonas and clostridium in anaerobic
conditions.
 They used the nitrate as an electron acceptor in
the place of oxygen during respiration.
NO3 —NO2 —N2O —N2
ORGANIC SUBTANCES
These includes lipids, proteins, carbohydrates
Which are formed by biotic components and that are linked with
biotic components.
They have strong influence on structure behavior and inter
relationship of various organisms in an ecosystem.
BIOTIC COMPONENTS
Producers
They are generally chlorophyll bearing autotrophic organisms
which prepare organic compounds from inorganic raw
materials.
Example
green plants and photosynthetic bacteria
a. Herbivore b. Carnivores
c. Omnivores d. decomposersCONSUMERS
FUNCTIONS OF AN ECOSYSTEM
Ecosystem have functional attributes
which keep the component parts running
together
For example – green leaves prepare food
and roots absorb nutrients from the soil.
Herbivores feed on part of the plant
production and in turn serve as food for
carnivores.
Decomposers carry out the function of
breaking down complex organic materials
into simple inorganic product which can
be used by the producers.
All these functions in an ecosystem occur
through delicately balanced and
controlled processes.
Food Chain, Food Web
& Ecological Pyramids
Food Chain
Flow of energy in an ecosystem is one way process. The
sequence of organism through which the energy flows, is
known as food chain.
•In a food chain each organism obtains energy from
the one at the level below.
•Plants are called producers because they create their
own food through photosynthesis
•Animals are consumers because they cannot create
their own food, they must eat plants or other animals
to get the energy that they need.
Key concepts
Tropic levels in a food chain
Producers
Consumers
(i) Primary consumers
(ii) Secondary consumers
(iii) Tertiary consumers
(iv) Quaternary consumers
Decomposers
Types of Food Chain
(i) Grazing Food Chain
•The consumers utilizing plants as their food , constitute
grazing food chain.
• This food chain begins from green plants and the
primary consumer is herbivore.
• Most of the ecosystem in nature follows this type of
food chain.
Ex: grass => grasshopper => birds => falcon
(ii) Detritus food chain
•This type of food chain starts from dead organic matter of
decaying animals and plant bodies to the micro-organisms
and then to detritus feeding organism and to other
predators.
•The food chain depends mainly on the influx of organic
matter produced in another system.
•The organism of the food chain includes algae, bacteria,
fungi, protozoa, insects, nematodes etc.
Detritus Food
Chain
•The knowledge of food chain helps in understanding
the feeding relationship as well as the interaction
between organism and ecosystem.
•It also help in understanding the mechanism of energy
flow and circulation of matter in ecosystem.
•It also helps to understand the movement of toxic
substance and the problem associated with biological
magnification in the ecosystem.
Significance of Food Chain
•A node represents an individual species, or a group of related
species or different stages of a single species.
• A link connects two nodes. Arrows represent links, and
always go from prey to predator.
• The lowest tropic level are called basal species.
• The highest tropic level are called top predators.
•Movement of nutrients is cyclic but of energy is unidirectional and
non-cyclic.
Key concepts
Types of food web representation
• These food webs simply indicate a
feeding relationship.
TOPOLOGICAL
WEBS
• Bio-energetic webs, or flow webs,
include information on the strength of
the feeding interaction.
FLOW WEBS
• In interaction the arrows show how
one group influences another.
INTERACTION
WEB
• Soil food web
• Aquatic food web
• Food web in forest
• Food web of grassland
• Food web in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem
Different food webs
Aquatic food web
Food web in
forest
Food web of grassland
Grassland Food
Web
Food web in terrestrial and aquatic
ecosystem
•Food webs distinguish levels of producers and consumers by
identifying and defining the importance of animal relationships
and food sources, beginning with primary producers such as
plants, insects and herbivores.
•Food webs are important tools in understanding that plants are
the foundation of all ecosystems and food chains, sustaining life
by providing nourishment and oxygen needed for survival and
reproduction.
•The food web provide stability to the ecosystem.
Significance of Food Web
What are Ecological Pyramids?
•Ecological pyramids are
graphical representations
of the tropic structure
ecosystem.
•Tropic levels are the feeding
positions in a food chain
such as primary producers,
herbivores, primary
carnivore etc.
Types of Ecological Pyramid
Three types of ecological pyramids can usually be
distinguished namely:
• Pyramid of numbers
• Pyramid of biomass
• Pyramid of productivity
Pyramid of Numbers
•It is the graphic representation of number of
individuals per unit area of various tropic levels.
•Large number of producers tend to form the
base.
•Lower numbers of top carnivores occupy the tip
Pyramid
of
Numbers
Pyramid of biomass
•It is the graphical representation of biomass present
per unit area at different tropic levels, with
producers at the base and carnivores at the top.
•Biomass is calculated as
mass of each individual X no. of individual at tropic levels
Pyramid of productivity
•Pyramid of productivity is a graphical
representation of the flow of energy through
each tropic level of a food chain over a fixed
time period.
•The input of solar energy may be indicated by
adding an extra to the base.
Pyramid of
productivity
Disturbances in ecosystem
•Bioaccumulation - When plants / animals take up a chemical from the
environment and do not excrete it,the chemical builds up in the organism
over time to a potentially lethal level.
•Biomagnification - Refers to the sequence of processes that results
in higher concentrations of the chemical in organisms at higher levels in
the food chain. The concentration of the chemical may not affect lower
levels of the food chain but the top levels take in so much it can cause
disease or death.
•Extinction of species – Due to decrease in population of various species
the balance of various tropic levels is disturbed as a result some levels
have more accumulation of species while others have very less population.
Ecosystem Structure and Function

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Ecosystem Structure and Function

  • 2. According to E.P.Odum, an American ecologist, an ecosystem is the basic functional unit of organism and their environment interacting with each other and with their own components. An ecosystem includes all organisms that live in a particular place, plus the abiotic environment in which they live - and with which they interact – at that location. ECOSYSTEM
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  • 7. ❶ The composition of biological community including species, numbers, biomass, life history and distribution in space.. ❷ The quantity and distribution of non living materials like nutrients, water etc. ❸The range of condition for existence such as temperature, light etc. ❹ The structure of ecosystem is characterized by the organization of the biotic and abiotic components. STRUCTURE OF AN ECOSYSTEM
  • 9. ABIOTIC COMPONENTS Climatic factors Inorganic substances Organic substances Carbon cycle Nitrogen cycle Water cycle Sunlight Precipitation Humidity Wind action Lipids Proteins Carbohydrates Edaphic factors Soil topography minerals soil
  • 10. ABIOTIC COMPONENTS A. Climatic Factors Sunlight precipitation humidity wind action
  • 11. Inorganic Substance These includes elements such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, etc., used in the synthesis of complex substances and involved in material cycle. Example Carbon Cycle Nitrogen Cycle Oxygen Cycle Phosphorous
  • 12. CARBON,THE BASIS OF ORGANIC COMPOUNDS , CYCLESTHROUGH MOST ECOSYSTEM  Carbon is a major constituent of the bodies of organisms because carbon atoms help form the framework of all organic compounds. CO2 is the most significant carbon containing compound in the environment of organisms. It makes up 0.03% of the volume of the atmosphere.
  • 13.  CO2 is taken up by plants during photosynthesis.  Animals eat the photosynthetic organisms and build their own tissues by making use of the carbon atoms in the organic compounds they ingest.  Both photosynthetic organism and animals obtain their energy by breaking down some of the organic compounds available to them.  CO2 is released by organisms during respiration and decomposition
  • 14.  CO2 is also released by automobiles and industries  In aquatic ecosystem CO2 reacts spontaneously with the water to form bicarbonate ions (HNO3-) which act as sources of carbon for photosynthesis by algae and aquatic plants.  Methanogens, are microbes that produce methane instead of CO2.  Methane that enters the atmosphere is oxidized to CO2 but CH4 that remains isolated from oxygen can persist for great lengths of time.
  • 15.  Burning of fossil fuel have created imbalance in the carbon cycle.  Carbon that took million of years to accumulate in fossil fuels is being rapidly returned on the atmosphere thus contribute much on global warming.
  • 16. WATER CYCLE Water is so crucial that changes in its supply in an ecosystem can radically alter the nature of an ecosystem. WATER CYCLE PROCESSES Evaporation Condensation Precipitation Run off Percolation & Infiltration Transpiration Completion of cycle
  • 17. • 78 % of the volume of troposphere. • Most complex cycle • N2 gas can’t be used ‘as is’ – it must be “fixed” so that organisms can use it • STEPSTOTHE CYCLE Nitrogen fixation Assimilation Ammonification Nitrification Denitrification
  • 18. NITROGEN FIXATION  Atmospheric Nitrogen must be processed, or “fixed” for plant use.  Some fixation occurs through lightning strikes but most fixation if done by free living or symbiotic bacteria ASSIMILATION  Plants get nitrogen from the soil, by absorption of their roots in the form of either nitrate ions or ammonium ions. AMMONIFICATION  When a plant or animal dies, or an animal expels waste , initial form of nitrogen is organic.  Bacteria or fungi in some cases, convert the organic nitrogen within the remains back into ammonium (NH4+) in the process called ammonification and mineralization.
  • 19. NITRIFICATION  The conversion of ammonium to nitrate is performed primarily by soil living bacteria and other nitrifying bacteria.  The oxidation of ammonium (NH4+) - is by bacteria Nitrosomonas species The nitrites by nitrobacteria DENITRIFICATION  The reduction of nitrates back into the largely inert Nitrogen gas (N2) completing the Nitrogen Cycle  Is performed by bacterial species such as pseudomonas and clostridium in anaerobic conditions.  They used the nitrate as an electron acceptor in the place of oxygen during respiration. NO3 —NO2 —N2O —N2
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  • 22. ORGANIC SUBTANCES These includes lipids, proteins, carbohydrates Which are formed by biotic components and that are linked with biotic components. They have strong influence on structure behavior and inter relationship of various organisms in an ecosystem.
  • 23. BIOTIC COMPONENTS Producers They are generally chlorophyll bearing autotrophic organisms which prepare organic compounds from inorganic raw materials. Example green plants and photosynthetic bacteria
  • 24. a. Herbivore b. Carnivores c. Omnivores d. decomposersCONSUMERS
  • 25. FUNCTIONS OF AN ECOSYSTEM Ecosystem have functional attributes which keep the component parts running together For example – green leaves prepare food and roots absorb nutrients from the soil. Herbivores feed on part of the plant production and in turn serve as food for carnivores. Decomposers carry out the function of breaking down complex organic materials into simple inorganic product which can be used by the producers. All these functions in an ecosystem occur through delicately balanced and controlled processes.
  • 26. Food Chain, Food Web & Ecological Pyramids
  • 27. Food Chain Flow of energy in an ecosystem is one way process. The sequence of organism through which the energy flows, is known as food chain.
  • 28. •In a food chain each organism obtains energy from the one at the level below. •Plants are called producers because they create their own food through photosynthesis •Animals are consumers because they cannot create their own food, they must eat plants or other animals to get the energy that they need. Key concepts
  • 29. Tropic levels in a food chain Producers Consumers (i) Primary consumers (ii) Secondary consumers (iii) Tertiary consumers (iv) Quaternary consumers Decomposers
  • 30. Types of Food Chain (i) Grazing Food Chain •The consumers utilizing plants as their food , constitute grazing food chain. • This food chain begins from green plants and the primary consumer is herbivore. • Most of the ecosystem in nature follows this type of food chain. Ex: grass => grasshopper => birds => falcon
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  • 32. (ii) Detritus food chain •This type of food chain starts from dead organic matter of decaying animals and plant bodies to the micro-organisms and then to detritus feeding organism and to other predators. •The food chain depends mainly on the influx of organic matter produced in another system. •The organism of the food chain includes algae, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, insects, nematodes etc.
  • 34. •The knowledge of food chain helps in understanding the feeding relationship as well as the interaction between organism and ecosystem. •It also help in understanding the mechanism of energy flow and circulation of matter in ecosystem. •It also helps to understand the movement of toxic substance and the problem associated with biological magnification in the ecosystem. Significance of Food Chain
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  • 36. •A node represents an individual species, or a group of related species or different stages of a single species. • A link connects two nodes. Arrows represent links, and always go from prey to predator. • The lowest tropic level are called basal species. • The highest tropic level are called top predators. •Movement of nutrients is cyclic but of energy is unidirectional and non-cyclic. Key concepts
  • 37. Types of food web representation • These food webs simply indicate a feeding relationship. TOPOLOGICAL WEBS • Bio-energetic webs, or flow webs, include information on the strength of the feeding interaction. FLOW WEBS • In interaction the arrows show how one group influences another. INTERACTION WEB
  • 38. • Soil food web • Aquatic food web • Food web in forest • Food web of grassland • Food web in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem Different food webs
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  • 42. Food web of grassland Grassland Food Web
  • 43. Food web in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem
  • 44. •Food webs distinguish levels of producers and consumers by identifying and defining the importance of animal relationships and food sources, beginning with primary producers such as plants, insects and herbivores. •Food webs are important tools in understanding that plants are the foundation of all ecosystems and food chains, sustaining life by providing nourishment and oxygen needed for survival and reproduction. •The food web provide stability to the ecosystem. Significance of Food Web
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  • 46. What are Ecological Pyramids? •Ecological pyramids are graphical representations of the tropic structure ecosystem. •Tropic levels are the feeding positions in a food chain such as primary producers, herbivores, primary carnivore etc.
  • 47. Types of Ecological Pyramid Three types of ecological pyramids can usually be distinguished namely: • Pyramid of numbers • Pyramid of biomass • Pyramid of productivity
  • 48. Pyramid of Numbers •It is the graphic representation of number of individuals per unit area of various tropic levels. •Large number of producers tend to form the base. •Lower numbers of top carnivores occupy the tip
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  • 51. Pyramid of biomass •It is the graphical representation of biomass present per unit area at different tropic levels, with producers at the base and carnivores at the top. •Biomass is calculated as mass of each individual X no. of individual at tropic levels
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  • 53. Pyramid of productivity •Pyramid of productivity is a graphical representation of the flow of energy through each tropic level of a food chain over a fixed time period. •The input of solar energy may be indicated by adding an extra to the base.
  • 55. Disturbances in ecosystem •Bioaccumulation - When plants / animals take up a chemical from the environment and do not excrete it,the chemical builds up in the organism over time to a potentially lethal level. •Biomagnification - Refers to the sequence of processes that results in higher concentrations of the chemical in organisms at higher levels in the food chain. The concentration of the chemical may not affect lower levels of the food chain but the top levels take in so much it can cause disease or death. •Extinction of species – Due to decrease in population of various species the balance of various tropic levels is disturbed as a result some levels have more accumulation of species while others have very less population.

Editor's Notes

  1. This are the different ecosystem of the world
  2. Almost 20% of the weight of the human body is carbon. The atmosphere contains about 750 billion metric tons of carbon
  3. Carbon cycle is straightforward. The process is sometimes called Carbon fixation. Fixation refers to metabolic reactions that make non gaseous compounds from gaseous ones. AEROBIC CELLULAR RESPIRATION
  4. All life depends on the presence of water. The most familiar of biogeochemical cycles. A distinctive feature of water cycle is that water is a compound, not an element thus it can be synthesized and broken down. It is synthesized during aerobic cellular respiration and can be split chemically during photosynthesis…………… Completion cycle where in all the water bodies continues its journey towards the natural slope and meet the see where the cycle starts again.
  5. How nitrogen be in short supply if the atmosphere is so rich with it.
  6. Living components
  7. Herbivores eat plants Carnivores feed on herbivores Omnivores both consumed plants and animals
  8. Thus , this cycle goes on and on, leading to a continuous a continuous functioning of the ecosystem.
  9. Parasiitic food chain starts froom big host and ends with parasitic organisms