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BASIC CONCEPTS OF ECOSYSTEM
Dr. Anupkumar T. Sharma
Assist. Professor
Nanded Pharmacy College, Nanded
Introduction
• The science of Environment studies is a multi-disciplinary science
because it comprises various branches of studies like chemistry,
physics, medical science, life science, agriculture, public health,
sanitary engineering etc.
• Douglas and Holland: The term ‘environment’ is used to describe,
in the aggregate, all the external forces, influences and conditions,
which affect the life, nature, behavior and the growth, development
and maturity of living organisms.
• Environmental science is essentially the application of scientific
methods and principles to the study of environmental issues.
• Environmental Issues of Global Concern are –
- Population explosion
- Land degradation
- Environmental pollution
Ecosystem
• Definition: First coined by A.G. Tansley in 1935
• Two words – eco (environment) and system
(interacting, inter-dependent complex)
• The system resulting from the integration of all the
living and non-living factors of the environment.
• Interacting system where biotic and abiotic factors
interact to produce an exchange of materials between
the living and non-living factors.
• Thus, ecosystem is a combination of structural and
functional system of communities and their
environment
• Continuous absorption of inorganic matter by biotic
components from abiotic components to produce
organic components and releasing back the inorganic
matter into environment
Concept of an Ecosystem
• Nature of the ecosystem - based on its
geographical features (mountains, hills, plains,
rivers, lakes, coastal areas, islands)
• Factors like sunlight, temperature, rainfall also
contribute to nature
• Two components: Abiotic and biotic
• Abiotic components: climatic factors (light,
temperature, rainfall, humidity etc.), geographic
factors (height and directions of mountain chains,
directions of valleys, steepness of slope etc.), and
soil related factors.
• Biotic components: All living organisms
• At global level, life exists as on the land
(lithosphere), water (hydrosphere) and air
(atmosphere ) – Collectively called Biosphere
• Biogeographical realms: At sub-global level, biosphere is divided
into biogeographical realms as -
- Eurasia (Palearctic realm)
- South and South-east Asia (including India, Oriental realm)
- North America (Nearctic realm)
- South America (Neotropical realm)
- Africa (Ethiopian realm)
- Australia (Australian realm)
• Biogeographic regions: At national or state level, further divided
into biogeographic regions as -
• India has 10 geographic regions as – Trans Himalaya, the Himalaya,
Desert, Semi Arid, Western Ghats, Deccan Peninsula, Gangetic
plain, Coasts, North-East, Islands (Andaman and Nicobar)
• These regions have plants and animals which are adopted to these
regions
Ecosystem degradation:
• Continuous disruption of ecosystems by man by
encroachment and harmful activities
• Extinction of many species of plants and animals
• Depletion of natural resources
• Continuous production of large waste materials
• Unequal use of natural resources among rich
people and poor people
• Collectively called as ecosystem degradation
• Proper sharing and control over resources
utilization is necessary to prevent ecosystem
degradation
Components of Ecosystem
Abiotic components:
Water:
• Essential for life – rainfall – 71% of the earth surface
• Water circulation between atmosphere and earth –
hydrologic cycle
• Evaporation, transpiration – rainfall
• Water availability – type of vegetation
• Plants: Hydrophytes, mesophytes, xerophytes,
• Animals: Desert animals, aquatic animals
• Develop special modifications
• E.g., Xerophytes: Deep, long roots, reduced leaves with
thick cuticle, succulent or with spines (Dry air, high
temperature)
• Desert animals: Lizard (absorb water by skin spines), camel
(water storage in stomach)
Humidity:
• The amount of water vapour in air
• Relative humidity: Ratio of the actual amount of water
vapour in the air , to the amount that can be held in the air, at
a particular temperature and pressure
• Absolute humidity: The actual amount of water vapour
present in the air
• Influenced by intensity of solar radiations, temperature,
altitude, wind, water status of soil etc.
• Influence transpiration, evaporation – plants and animals
• Measured psychrometer, paper strip hygrometer, thermo-
hydrograph
Temperature:
• Solar radiation – predominant source of energy
• Growth, metabolism, reproduction, movement, behaviour,
death etc.
• Variable – place, time, altitude, region
• Rate of reaction doubles with every 10◦C rise in
temperature (Van’t Hoff’s rule)
• Effects: Enzymatic reactions, transpiration,
evaporation, photosynthesis, maturation of gonads in
plants, colours in insects, birds, mammals
Light:
• Most important factor for life – sunlight – energy for
plants – ultimately for animals
• Role in photosynthesis, transpiration, stomatal
functioning, germination, pigmentation, nutrition
requirement in plants
• Role in pigmentation, growth, locomotion, migration in
animals
• Influences microbial growth
Atmospheric gases:
• Major: Oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen
• Minor: Argon, neon, helium, krypton, xenon, hydrogen,
methane, ozone
Oxygen:
• Necessary for life – respiration and metabolic
processes
• Aquatic animals – skin, gills
• Air- 21%, Water – 4-10ml/L
• High altitude, partial pressure of oxygen is 50% of its
value at sea level – stress factor for mammals
Carbon dioxide:
• Air contains 0.03% of carbon dioxide – essential for
photosynthesis
• Influences pH of water
• Influence respiration, oxygen carrying capacity of
haemoglobin
Soil:
• Acts as a substratum for plants and animals
• Bridge between organic and inorganic materials
• Study of soil – pedology or soil science
• Edaphic factors (soil properties) like structure, pH,
temperature, salinity influence soil microbial
communities
• Provide support, water, nutrient, oxygen for plants
• Composition: Mineral matter (40%), organic matter
(humus) (10%), soil water (25%), soil air (25%) and
biological system
• Top soil: Different colours (humus, minerals), Sub soil:
(roots, humus, minerals)
Soil profile:
• Horizontal layers (horizons)
arranged one above the other
• Five main horizons: O, A, B, C, R
• O horizon: Top soil, very rich in
organic matter content, dark
coloured, light texture, intense
biological activity and abundant
life
- O1: Upper layer (fresh fallen
dead leaves, twigs, barks,
flowers, fruits, animal
excreta)
- O2: Contains humus
• A horizon: Zone of leaching,
humus mixes with minerals,
A1, A2, A3
• B horizon: Forms subsoil,
contains iron and aluminium
compounds with clay and
humus, B1, B2, B3
- B2: Silicate, clay, mineral,
iron, organic matter
• C horizon: Mineral horizon,
large rocks, CaCO3, CaSO4
- Long roots of big plants reach
here
• R horizon: Parent,
unweathered bed rock, water
is collected
• Qualities of soil like porosity, texture, aeration, water
holding capacity, mineral and nutritional contents
decides vegetation growth.
• Highly alkaline or saline soil are unproductive
• Contains microbes like bacteria, fungi, protozoa, algae,
helminths, earthworms, rodents – soil properties and
fertility
Biotic components:
Plants:
• Green plants, grasses, certain bacteria, algae containing
chlorophyll – photosynthesis (Autotrophs/producers)
Animals:
• Depends up on producers for food
(Heterotrophs/consumers)
• Primary consumers (herbivores), secondary consumers
(carnivores), tertiary consumers (top carnivores),
omnivores
Autotrophs and Heterotrophs
Properties of ecosystem:
• Three basic components: Energy, abiotic components, biotic
components
• Occupies certain well-defined area on the spatial dimension
(earth – spaceship)
• Open system characterized by continuous input and output of
matter and energy
• Complex sets of interactions between biotic and abiotic
components and among the organisms on the other hand.
• So many energy sources, predominant is solar energy
• Ecosystems are natural resources systems
• It is a structured and well organized system.
Food Chain: A sequence of organisms,
(herbivores to carnivores to decomposers),
in which each organism serves as a source
of food or energy for another.
• Hence, no waste in a natural ecosystem
• Most consumers feed on more than one
organisms
• Maximum organisms are eaten by more
than one consumers
• Thus, food chain is transfer of food
energy from one group of organisms to
the other group in ecosystem
• The point where food energy transferred
from one group of organisms to the
other is called Trophic level.
Types:
• Grazing food chain (Predominant)
• Detritus food chain
Grazing food chain: Starts with green plants (producers), goes to
grazing herbivores and ends on carnivores.
• Each animal attacks on other, law of survival of the fittest
• At each trophic level, only 10% energy transferred
Detritus food chain: Starts from dead organic matter produced
by decomposition of plant parts and dead animal parts
(detritus) by decomposers like earthworms, micro-organisms etc.
, eaten by animals (detrivores) – further eaten by animals
(predators)
• Earthworms, wood louse etc. convert complex organic matter
in to simple
• Microbes convert in to inorganic matter
Trophic levels: The group of organisms within an
ecosystem which occupy the same level in a food chain.
• The point where food energy transferred from one group of
organisms to the other is called Trophic level.
• Four main trophic levels
Trophic level 1:
• Forms the base of food chain – autotrophs
• Green plants produce food via photosynthesis (sunlight, carbon
dioxide, inorganic salts, water)
• For cell and tissue growth
Trophic level 2:
• Trophic level where food energy transferred from producers to
primary consumers
• Organisms depends upon producers for nourishment
• Includes primary consumers (herbivores) like sheep, dairy animals,
rabbits, goats, deers etc.
Trophic level 3:
• Energy transfer from primary consumers to secondary consumers
(carnivores)
• Organisms depend upon primary consumers
• E.g. Beers, lions, eagles et.
Trophic level 4:
• Get nourishment from all above trophic levels (Omnivores and
decomposers)
• E.g. Man, microbes
Food Web
• A network of food chains
where different types of
organisms are connected at
different trophic levels, so
that there are a number of
options of eating and being
eaten at each trophic level.
• Several interconnected and
overlapping food chains
(complicated food chain)
• Greater number of species
feed on many kinds
• Extinction of one species
does not affect trophic
levels seriously
Significance of Food Chain and Food Web
• Energy flow and nutrient cycling in the ecosystem
• Preservation of ecological stability by regulating population
size of various animals
• Demonstrate the property of biological magnification of few
chemicals (Transfer of nonbiodegradable chemicals like
pesticides, heavy metals, chemicals etc. from one trophic level
to another – concentration expands)
Nutrient Cycles (Biogeochemical Cycles)
• The continuous, circular movement of nutritional compounds
and elements through water, soil, and abiotic components
within ecosystem
• Driven by solar energy and gravity
• Water cycle, nitrogen cycle, carbon cycle, phosphorus cycle
Water (Hydrological) cycle:
• Essential for life on the earth
• Describes collection, purification and distribution of water
• Involves interchange of water between atmosphere and
earth’s surface via rainfall and evaporation
• About 90% of water evaporates from soil and plants via
transpiration
• Water from ocean evaporates and repeat the cycle
• Water returns via precipitation by following paths:
- Rainfall on terrestrial ecosystems – run off and flows in to
lakes, streams, rivers
- Converted to ice and glaciers
- Roots of plants absorb small amount of water –
evaporation via leaves
• Vapourization from sea surface – cloud formation –
condensation – droplet formation – rainfall
• Drastic changes due to human activities (pollution) - Large
withdrawal and less replacement – change in rainfall patterns
• Draughts and floods
Nitrogen cycle:
• Essential component of vitamins, amino acids and nucleic
acids
• 78% in atmosphere
• Can not be used by plants or animals
• Nitrogen fixation: Nitrogen converted into ammonia and
nitrate by –
- Lightening in the atmosphere
- Nitrogen fixing bacteria in soil
• Transferred from plants to animals
• Dead organic matter, animal waste decomposed by bacteria,
fungi, ants, insects and converted to ammonia gas or free
nitrogen in atmosphere
Carbon cycle:
• Found in biotic as well as abiotic components
• Building blocks of plant and animal tissues
• Occurs as CO2 (0.038% ) in atmosphere
• Photosynthesis - CO2, sunlight and water – carbohydrates and
O2 produced
• Regulation of both gases
• Animal excreta and dead animals return fixed carbon to soil
• High level of CO2 due to deforestation – global warming
Phosphorus cycle:
• Important sedimentary cycle
• Does not include atmosphere
• Occurs as reservoirs in rocks and deposits
• Erosion release phosphates – maximum portion goes into sea
as sedimentation
Energy Cycle
• Energy is the ability to do work, essence of life
• Energy flow through food chains in ecosystem – keeps
ecosystem going
• Energy pattern and flow governed by –
First law of thermodynamics: In any system of constant mass,
energy is neither created nor destroyed, but it can be
transformed from one type to another type.
• Solar energy to biochemical energy of plants and then of
animals
• Energy inflow balanced by energy outflow.
Second law of thermodynamics: When work is done, energy is
dissipated and the work is done when one form of energy is
transformed into another form.
• During energy flow in ecosystem, dissipation of energy at each
trophic level
• Respiration, locomotion, running, hunting, digestion and
other activities
• 90% energy loss and 10% transfer at each trophic level
Ecological Succession
Definition: An orderly and progressive replacement
of one community by another till the development
of a stable community in that area
• The process of formation of new communities
• The stable community – climax community
• Various development stages called as ‘sere’ and
each stage under development called ‘seral
stage’.
• The composition and structure of any community
changes drastically in longer time span (unstable)
• A particular community in a geographical area is
replaced by a series of communities
• E.g. Pond/lake community – fills with slit –
shallow lake – sand and mud - marshy land
community – grassland/ dry forest land
community
Types of ecological succession:
Primary succession: Development of community
begins on a sterile area, not occupied by any
community previously
• First organism – pioneer community
• E.g. Landslide in mountains – rock surface
exposed – lichens (pioneer community) – moss
mat – grasses – herbs – shrubs – trees – forest
community (climax community)
Primary Succession
Lichens Mosses
Secondary succession: Community development starts on areas
previously occupied by well developed communities
• Organic matter/ some organisms from previous community
may remain
• E.g. areas burned by fire, cut over forests
Types of Succession on the Basis of Moisture Content:
• Hydrach or Hydrosere (Aquatic environment like
ponds, lakes etc.)
• Mesarch or Mesosere (Area with adequate
moisture)
• Xerarch or Xerosere (Deserts or rocks)
Productivity of Ecosystem
Definition: Refers to rate of production.
Primary productivity: The rate at which solar energy is stored by
photosynthetic and chemosynthetic activity of producers which
can be used as food materials.
• Gross primary productivity: The solar energy trapped by the
photosynthetic organisms.
- Includes all organic matter produced, depends upon the
photosynthetic activity and environmental factors.
• Net primary productivity: This is estimated by the gross
productivity minus energy lost in respiration.
NPP = GPP – Energy lost by respiration
• Includes net energy stored in the plants, food for the animals,
measured as the amount of organic matter produced in a
community in given time.
Secondary productivity: Rate of energy storage at the
consumer’s level. It keeps moving from one organism to another.
Net productivity: Rate of storage of organic matter not used by
consumers.
- Rate of increase of biomass of the primary producers
Unit of Productivity: Typically, productivity is expressed in units
of mass per unit volume (or surface) per unit time.
Ecological Pyramids
• Charles Elton in 1927 first described ecological pyramids.
• The diagrammatic expression of the fact - the number,
biomass and energy of organisms gradually decrease from
producer level to the consumer level.
• Graphic representation of number, biomass and energy at
various trophic level.
• Producers form base and final consumers form apex.
Types:
• Pyramid of Numbers
• Pyramid of Biomass
• Pyramid of Energy
Pyramid of Numbers:
• Show relationship between producers, herbivores and
carnivores at successive trophic levels in terms of number
• Decreases from producers to consumers
• Pyramid is upright
• Consider only number of organisms, not the size – no clear
idea about total biomass
• E.g. 1. (Grassland ecosystem) Crops > grasshoppers > frogs >
snakes
2. (Pond ecosystem) Phytoplankton > Zooplankton > fishes >
snakes
3. (Forest ecosystem, somewhat different) Producers (big trees)
< herbivores (birds, elephants etc.) > carnivores
4. (Parasitic food chain – inverted) Microbes > bugs > herbivores
> producers (single tree)
Pyramid of Biomass:
• Refers to the total weight of living matter per unit area
• Total weight of organisms at each trophic level
• Decreases from producer (large base)level to consumer level
(narrow top)
• Grassland and forest ecosystem – upright pyramid
• Pond ecosystem – inverted pyramid
Pyramid of Energy:
• Most informative, provides a clear picture
• Energy level decreases from producers to carnivores
• Solar energy > producers > herbivores > carnivores
• Pyramid is always upright
Types of Ecosystems
Forest Ecosystem
• Formed by community of plants like trees, shrubs,
grasses, climbers, ground cover
• Homogenous or heterogenous
• National parks, wildlife sanctuaries
Components:
Abiotic components:
• Forest type depends up on type of soil and organic and
mineral contents of soil
• Forest at mountains, hills, river valleys
• Vegetation – rainfall and temperature, altitude
Biotic components:
Producers:
• Plants specific to each forest type
• Tropical rain forests: Trees, herbs, shrubs, climbers, lichens,
algae
• Himalayas: Coniferous trees
• River deltas: Mangrove trees
• Flowering and non-flowering plants (ferns, bryophytes, fungi,
algae)
Consumers:
• Himalayas: Snow leopard, sheep, goats, birds
• Evergreen forests of Western Ghats and North-East India:
Rich in plants and animal species – mammals, birds, reptiles,
amphibians, fishes, insects, invertebrates etc.
• Primary consumers: Small animals like ants, flies, leaf
hoppers, bugs, spiders, squirrels etc., large animals like
elephants, neelgai, deer, wild buffaloes etc.
• Secondary consumers: Snakes, birds, lizards, foxes etc.
• Tertiary consumers: Lion, leopard, tiger etc.
Decomposers:
• Fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes
• Decomposition faster in tropical forests than
temperate and polar forests
Types of forests in India:
Coniferous forests:
• Himalayan mountain region, low temperature
• Trees with needle-like leaves sloping branches
• Produce cones in stead of seeds – gymnosperms
Broad leaved forests:
• Large leaves of various shapes
• Evergreen forests, deciduous forests, thorn forests,
mangrove forests
Evergreen forests:
• In high rainfall areas of western Ghats, North-east
India, Andaman and Nicobar islands
• Monsoon – several months, green through out the
year, little leaf shedding through year
• Very little sun light reach to floor
• Rich in orchids, ferns, animal life, abundant insects
Deciduous forests:
• In regions with moderate seasonal rainfall
• Teak trees common
• Leaf shedding in winter and hot summer months
• March/April – regain leaves
• Thick undergrowth as light reach easily at ground
Thorn forests:
• In semi-arid regions in India
• Trees sparsely distributed, surrounded by
grassy area
• Xerophytic plants, waxy leaves to conserve
water, thorns to reduce transpiration and to
protect from herbivores
Mangrove forests:
• In river deltas (coasts)
• Plants grow in saline, fresh water and muddy
areas
Uses of forests:
• Timber, fire-wood
• Climate and water regimes
• Shelter for wild animals
• Fruits, roots, herbs, medicinal plants, fodder, building
material, fibre, cane, gum, honey etc.
Threats to forest ecosystem:
• Overutilization – waste land (Population growth,
industrialization, urbanization, consumer goods like paper
pulp, timber etc. )
• Forest cover of India – from 335 to 11% last century
• Mining, dams
Effects:
• No survival of tribal people
• Houses, farm implements
• Insect population
• No rain – agriculture, drinking water, extinction of species
Conservation of forest ecosystem:
• Use of alternate source of energy instead of
wood
• Grow more trees
• Afforestation to be done
• Set up of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries
Desert Ecosystem
• In India, Western India and Deccan plateau (Desert and
semi-arid area).
• Extremely dry, hot temperature
• Cold desert, Ladakh, high plateaus of Himalayas
• In desert areas, rainfall is very scanty and sporadic
• Evaporation is more than rainfall, snow fall etc.
• Latin term ‘desertus’ – waste or something that has been
left.
• Rainfall than 25cm a year
• Covers approx. 1/3rd land of the world.
• Atmosphere is very dry – so weak insulator – days are very
hot and nights are very cool.
Types of Deserts: On the basis of climatic
conditions-
• Tropical deserts: Thar (Rajasthan, Punjab,
Sindh, Pakistan, the largest desert of India)
Sahara (North Africa, the largest desert of the
world), Namib (Africa), Rajasthan, Arabian
desert (Saudi Arabia)
• Temperate deserts: Mojave in California,
Arizona (US)
• Cold deserts: Gobi desert (China), Tibetian
desert
• Animals and plants have typical adaptations
for water conservation
• Plants: Reduced, scaly leaves, succulent
leaves, flattened stems with chlorophyll, deep
roots, waxy thick cuticle over leaf
• Animals: Insects, reptiles have thick outer
covering, leave inside burrow.
• Desert soil: Rich in nutrients, lacks water
Components:
Biotic components:
Producers: Shrubs,
bushes, some grasses,
very few trees,
microphyllus plants,
spreading trees with
deep roots, cacti,
succulent plants,
xerophytes, lichens etc.
Consumers: Highly specialized insects, reptiles,
rodents, birds, some mammalian vertebrates,
tortoise, sand snakes, desert cats, desert fox etc.
• Grazing animals like cattle, goat, sheeps,
camels.
Uromastix Kangaroo rats
Great Indian Bustard Florican
Patridge Sandgrouse
Decomposers: Thermophilic bacteria, fungi in
small numbers
Threats:
• Human population growth, developmental
strategies
• Extensive irrigation systems affecting natural
characteristics
• Rapid evaporation of water – salt on surface –
saline and unproductive soil
• Excessive tube wells – lowering water level
Conservation:
• Desert people
traditionally protect their
water resources
• Bishnois in Rajasthan
protect khejdi trees and
black buck antelope for
several generations
• Special need of
sustainable development
(Disclaimer: The images and diagrams in this presentation have
been downloaded from the Google source. I am grateful to all the
concerned Authors, Publishers & the Google.)
Thank You…!!!

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CONCEPTS OF ENVIRONMENT & ECOSYSTEM.pptx

  • 1. BASIC CONCEPTS OF ECOSYSTEM Dr. Anupkumar T. Sharma Assist. Professor Nanded Pharmacy College, Nanded
  • 2. Introduction • The science of Environment studies is a multi-disciplinary science because it comprises various branches of studies like chemistry, physics, medical science, life science, agriculture, public health, sanitary engineering etc. • Douglas and Holland: The term ‘environment’ is used to describe, in the aggregate, all the external forces, influences and conditions, which affect the life, nature, behavior and the growth, development and maturity of living organisms. • Environmental science is essentially the application of scientific methods and principles to the study of environmental issues. • Environmental Issues of Global Concern are – - Population explosion - Land degradation - Environmental pollution
  • 3. Ecosystem • Definition: First coined by A.G. Tansley in 1935 • Two words – eco (environment) and system (interacting, inter-dependent complex) • The system resulting from the integration of all the living and non-living factors of the environment. • Interacting system where biotic and abiotic factors interact to produce an exchange of materials between the living and non-living factors. • Thus, ecosystem is a combination of structural and functional system of communities and their environment • Continuous absorption of inorganic matter by biotic components from abiotic components to produce organic components and releasing back the inorganic matter into environment
  • 4. Concept of an Ecosystem • Nature of the ecosystem - based on its geographical features (mountains, hills, plains, rivers, lakes, coastal areas, islands) • Factors like sunlight, temperature, rainfall also contribute to nature • Two components: Abiotic and biotic • Abiotic components: climatic factors (light, temperature, rainfall, humidity etc.), geographic factors (height and directions of mountain chains, directions of valleys, steepness of slope etc.), and soil related factors. • Biotic components: All living organisms
  • 5.
  • 6. • At global level, life exists as on the land (lithosphere), water (hydrosphere) and air (atmosphere ) – Collectively called Biosphere
  • 7. • Biogeographical realms: At sub-global level, biosphere is divided into biogeographical realms as - - Eurasia (Palearctic realm) - South and South-east Asia (including India, Oriental realm) - North America (Nearctic realm) - South America (Neotropical realm) - Africa (Ethiopian realm) - Australia (Australian realm) • Biogeographic regions: At national or state level, further divided into biogeographic regions as - • India has 10 geographic regions as – Trans Himalaya, the Himalaya, Desert, Semi Arid, Western Ghats, Deccan Peninsula, Gangetic plain, Coasts, North-East, Islands (Andaman and Nicobar) • These regions have plants and animals which are adopted to these regions
  • 8. Ecosystem degradation: • Continuous disruption of ecosystems by man by encroachment and harmful activities • Extinction of many species of plants and animals • Depletion of natural resources • Continuous production of large waste materials • Unequal use of natural resources among rich people and poor people • Collectively called as ecosystem degradation • Proper sharing and control over resources utilization is necessary to prevent ecosystem degradation
  • 10. Abiotic components: Water: • Essential for life – rainfall – 71% of the earth surface • Water circulation between atmosphere and earth – hydrologic cycle • Evaporation, transpiration – rainfall • Water availability – type of vegetation • Plants: Hydrophytes, mesophytes, xerophytes, • Animals: Desert animals, aquatic animals • Develop special modifications • E.g., Xerophytes: Deep, long roots, reduced leaves with thick cuticle, succulent or with spines (Dry air, high temperature) • Desert animals: Lizard (absorb water by skin spines), camel (water storage in stomach)
  • 11. Humidity: • The amount of water vapour in air • Relative humidity: Ratio of the actual amount of water vapour in the air , to the amount that can be held in the air, at a particular temperature and pressure • Absolute humidity: The actual amount of water vapour present in the air • Influenced by intensity of solar radiations, temperature, altitude, wind, water status of soil etc. • Influence transpiration, evaporation – plants and animals • Measured psychrometer, paper strip hygrometer, thermo- hydrograph Temperature: • Solar radiation – predominant source of energy • Growth, metabolism, reproduction, movement, behaviour, death etc. • Variable – place, time, altitude, region
  • 12. • Rate of reaction doubles with every 10◦C rise in temperature (Van’t Hoff’s rule) • Effects: Enzymatic reactions, transpiration, evaporation, photosynthesis, maturation of gonads in plants, colours in insects, birds, mammals Light: • Most important factor for life – sunlight – energy for plants – ultimately for animals • Role in photosynthesis, transpiration, stomatal functioning, germination, pigmentation, nutrition requirement in plants • Role in pigmentation, growth, locomotion, migration in animals • Influences microbial growth
  • 13. Atmospheric gases: • Major: Oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen • Minor: Argon, neon, helium, krypton, xenon, hydrogen, methane, ozone
  • 14. Oxygen: • Necessary for life – respiration and metabolic processes • Aquatic animals – skin, gills • Air- 21%, Water – 4-10ml/L • High altitude, partial pressure of oxygen is 50% of its value at sea level – stress factor for mammals Carbon dioxide: • Air contains 0.03% of carbon dioxide – essential for photosynthesis • Influences pH of water • Influence respiration, oxygen carrying capacity of haemoglobin
  • 15. Soil: • Acts as a substratum for plants and animals • Bridge between organic and inorganic materials • Study of soil – pedology or soil science • Edaphic factors (soil properties) like structure, pH, temperature, salinity influence soil microbial communities • Provide support, water, nutrient, oxygen for plants • Composition: Mineral matter (40%), organic matter (humus) (10%), soil water (25%), soil air (25%) and biological system • Top soil: Different colours (humus, minerals), Sub soil: (roots, humus, minerals)
  • 16. Soil profile: • Horizontal layers (horizons) arranged one above the other • Five main horizons: O, A, B, C, R • O horizon: Top soil, very rich in organic matter content, dark coloured, light texture, intense biological activity and abundant life - O1: Upper layer (fresh fallen dead leaves, twigs, barks, flowers, fruits, animal excreta) - O2: Contains humus
  • 17. • A horizon: Zone of leaching, humus mixes with minerals, A1, A2, A3 • B horizon: Forms subsoil, contains iron and aluminium compounds with clay and humus, B1, B2, B3 - B2: Silicate, clay, mineral, iron, organic matter • C horizon: Mineral horizon, large rocks, CaCO3, CaSO4 - Long roots of big plants reach here • R horizon: Parent, unweathered bed rock, water is collected
  • 18. • Qualities of soil like porosity, texture, aeration, water holding capacity, mineral and nutritional contents decides vegetation growth. • Highly alkaline or saline soil are unproductive • Contains microbes like bacteria, fungi, protozoa, algae, helminths, earthworms, rodents – soil properties and fertility Biotic components: Plants: • Green plants, grasses, certain bacteria, algae containing chlorophyll – photosynthesis (Autotrophs/producers) Animals: • Depends up on producers for food (Heterotrophs/consumers) • Primary consumers (herbivores), secondary consumers (carnivores), tertiary consumers (top carnivores), omnivores
  • 20. Properties of ecosystem: • Three basic components: Energy, abiotic components, biotic components • Occupies certain well-defined area on the spatial dimension (earth – spaceship) • Open system characterized by continuous input and output of matter and energy • Complex sets of interactions between biotic and abiotic components and among the organisms on the other hand. • So many energy sources, predominant is solar energy • Ecosystems are natural resources systems • It is a structured and well organized system.
  • 21. Food Chain: A sequence of organisms, (herbivores to carnivores to decomposers), in which each organism serves as a source of food or energy for another. • Hence, no waste in a natural ecosystem • Most consumers feed on more than one organisms • Maximum organisms are eaten by more than one consumers • Thus, food chain is transfer of food energy from one group of organisms to the other group in ecosystem • The point where food energy transferred from one group of organisms to the other is called Trophic level. Types: • Grazing food chain (Predominant) • Detritus food chain
  • 22. Grazing food chain: Starts with green plants (producers), goes to grazing herbivores and ends on carnivores. • Each animal attacks on other, law of survival of the fittest • At each trophic level, only 10% energy transferred
  • 23. Detritus food chain: Starts from dead organic matter produced by decomposition of plant parts and dead animal parts (detritus) by decomposers like earthworms, micro-organisms etc. , eaten by animals (detrivores) – further eaten by animals (predators) • Earthworms, wood louse etc. convert complex organic matter in to simple • Microbes convert in to inorganic matter
  • 24. Trophic levels: The group of organisms within an ecosystem which occupy the same level in a food chain. • The point where food energy transferred from one group of organisms to the other is called Trophic level. • Four main trophic levels
  • 25. Trophic level 1: • Forms the base of food chain – autotrophs • Green plants produce food via photosynthesis (sunlight, carbon dioxide, inorganic salts, water) • For cell and tissue growth Trophic level 2: • Trophic level where food energy transferred from producers to primary consumers • Organisms depends upon producers for nourishment • Includes primary consumers (herbivores) like sheep, dairy animals, rabbits, goats, deers etc. Trophic level 3: • Energy transfer from primary consumers to secondary consumers (carnivores) • Organisms depend upon primary consumers • E.g. Beers, lions, eagles et. Trophic level 4: • Get nourishment from all above trophic levels (Omnivores and decomposers) • E.g. Man, microbes
  • 26.
  • 27.
  • 28. Food Web • A network of food chains where different types of organisms are connected at different trophic levels, so that there are a number of options of eating and being eaten at each trophic level. • Several interconnected and overlapping food chains (complicated food chain) • Greater number of species feed on many kinds • Extinction of one species does not affect trophic levels seriously
  • 29. Significance of Food Chain and Food Web • Energy flow and nutrient cycling in the ecosystem • Preservation of ecological stability by regulating population size of various animals • Demonstrate the property of biological magnification of few chemicals (Transfer of nonbiodegradable chemicals like pesticides, heavy metals, chemicals etc. from one trophic level to another – concentration expands) Nutrient Cycles (Biogeochemical Cycles) • The continuous, circular movement of nutritional compounds and elements through water, soil, and abiotic components within ecosystem • Driven by solar energy and gravity • Water cycle, nitrogen cycle, carbon cycle, phosphorus cycle
  • 30. Water (Hydrological) cycle: • Essential for life on the earth • Describes collection, purification and distribution of water • Involves interchange of water between atmosphere and earth’s surface via rainfall and evaporation • About 90% of water evaporates from soil and plants via transpiration • Water from ocean evaporates and repeat the cycle • Water returns via precipitation by following paths: - Rainfall on terrestrial ecosystems – run off and flows in to lakes, streams, rivers - Converted to ice and glaciers - Roots of plants absorb small amount of water – evaporation via leaves
  • 31. • Vapourization from sea surface – cloud formation – condensation – droplet formation – rainfall • Drastic changes due to human activities (pollution) - Large withdrawal and less replacement – change in rainfall patterns • Draughts and floods Nitrogen cycle: • Essential component of vitamins, amino acids and nucleic acids • 78% in atmosphere • Can not be used by plants or animals • Nitrogen fixation: Nitrogen converted into ammonia and nitrate by – - Lightening in the atmosphere - Nitrogen fixing bacteria in soil
  • 32. • Transferred from plants to animals • Dead organic matter, animal waste decomposed by bacteria, fungi, ants, insects and converted to ammonia gas or free nitrogen in atmosphere Carbon cycle: • Found in biotic as well as abiotic components • Building blocks of plant and animal tissues • Occurs as CO2 (0.038% ) in atmosphere • Photosynthesis - CO2, sunlight and water – carbohydrates and O2 produced • Regulation of both gases • Animal excreta and dead animals return fixed carbon to soil • High level of CO2 due to deforestation – global warming
  • 33. Phosphorus cycle: • Important sedimentary cycle • Does not include atmosphere • Occurs as reservoirs in rocks and deposits • Erosion release phosphates – maximum portion goes into sea as sedimentation
  • 34. Energy Cycle • Energy is the ability to do work, essence of life • Energy flow through food chains in ecosystem – keeps ecosystem going • Energy pattern and flow governed by – First law of thermodynamics: In any system of constant mass, energy is neither created nor destroyed, but it can be transformed from one type to another type. • Solar energy to biochemical energy of plants and then of animals • Energy inflow balanced by energy outflow. Second law of thermodynamics: When work is done, energy is dissipated and the work is done when one form of energy is transformed into another form.
  • 35. • During energy flow in ecosystem, dissipation of energy at each trophic level • Respiration, locomotion, running, hunting, digestion and other activities • 90% energy loss and 10% transfer at each trophic level
  • 36. Ecological Succession Definition: An orderly and progressive replacement of one community by another till the development of a stable community in that area • The process of formation of new communities • The stable community – climax community • Various development stages called as ‘sere’ and each stage under development called ‘seral stage’. • The composition and structure of any community changes drastically in longer time span (unstable) • A particular community in a geographical area is replaced by a series of communities
  • 37. • E.g. Pond/lake community – fills with slit – shallow lake – sand and mud - marshy land community – grassland/ dry forest land community Types of ecological succession: Primary succession: Development of community begins on a sterile area, not occupied by any community previously • First organism – pioneer community • E.g. Landslide in mountains – rock surface exposed – lichens (pioneer community) – moss mat – grasses – herbs – shrubs – trees – forest community (climax community)
  • 39. Secondary succession: Community development starts on areas previously occupied by well developed communities • Organic matter/ some organisms from previous community may remain • E.g. areas burned by fire, cut over forests
  • 40. Types of Succession on the Basis of Moisture Content: • Hydrach or Hydrosere (Aquatic environment like ponds, lakes etc.) • Mesarch or Mesosere (Area with adequate moisture) • Xerarch or Xerosere (Deserts or rocks)
  • 41. Productivity of Ecosystem Definition: Refers to rate of production. Primary productivity: The rate at which solar energy is stored by photosynthetic and chemosynthetic activity of producers which can be used as food materials. • Gross primary productivity: The solar energy trapped by the photosynthetic organisms. - Includes all organic matter produced, depends upon the photosynthetic activity and environmental factors. • Net primary productivity: This is estimated by the gross productivity minus energy lost in respiration. NPP = GPP – Energy lost by respiration • Includes net energy stored in the plants, food for the animals, measured as the amount of organic matter produced in a community in given time.
  • 42. Secondary productivity: Rate of energy storage at the consumer’s level. It keeps moving from one organism to another. Net productivity: Rate of storage of organic matter not used by consumers. - Rate of increase of biomass of the primary producers Unit of Productivity: Typically, productivity is expressed in units of mass per unit volume (or surface) per unit time.
  • 43. Ecological Pyramids • Charles Elton in 1927 first described ecological pyramids. • The diagrammatic expression of the fact - the number, biomass and energy of organisms gradually decrease from producer level to the consumer level. • Graphic representation of number, biomass and energy at various trophic level. • Producers form base and final consumers form apex. Types: • Pyramid of Numbers • Pyramid of Biomass • Pyramid of Energy
  • 44. Pyramid of Numbers: • Show relationship between producers, herbivores and carnivores at successive trophic levels in terms of number • Decreases from producers to consumers • Pyramid is upright • Consider only number of organisms, not the size – no clear idea about total biomass • E.g. 1. (Grassland ecosystem) Crops > grasshoppers > frogs > snakes 2. (Pond ecosystem) Phytoplankton > Zooplankton > fishes > snakes 3. (Forest ecosystem, somewhat different) Producers (big trees) < herbivores (birds, elephants etc.) > carnivores 4. (Parasitic food chain – inverted) Microbes > bugs > herbivores > producers (single tree)
  • 45.
  • 46. Pyramid of Biomass: • Refers to the total weight of living matter per unit area • Total weight of organisms at each trophic level • Decreases from producer (large base)level to consumer level (narrow top) • Grassland and forest ecosystem – upright pyramid • Pond ecosystem – inverted pyramid
  • 47. Pyramid of Energy: • Most informative, provides a clear picture • Energy level decreases from producers to carnivores • Solar energy > producers > herbivores > carnivores • Pyramid is always upright
  • 49.
  • 50. Forest Ecosystem • Formed by community of plants like trees, shrubs, grasses, climbers, ground cover • Homogenous or heterogenous • National parks, wildlife sanctuaries Components: Abiotic components: • Forest type depends up on type of soil and organic and mineral contents of soil • Forest at mountains, hills, river valleys • Vegetation – rainfall and temperature, altitude
  • 51. Biotic components: Producers: • Plants specific to each forest type • Tropical rain forests: Trees, herbs, shrubs, climbers, lichens, algae • Himalayas: Coniferous trees • River deltas: Mangrove trees • Flowering and non-flowering plants (ferns, bryophytes, fungi, algae) Consumers: • Himalayas: Snow leopard, sheep, goats, birds • Evergreen forests of Western Ghats and North-East India: Rich in plants and animal species – mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, insects, invertebrates etc. • Primary consumers: Small animals like ants, flies, leaf hoppers, bugs, spiders, squirrels etc., large animals like elephants, neelgai, deer, wild buffaloes etc. • Secondary consumers: Snakes, birds, lizards, foxes etc. • Tertiary consumers: Lion, leopard, tiger etc.
  • 52. Decomposers: • Fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes • Decomposition faster in tropical forests than temperate and polar forests Types of forests in India: Coniferous forests: • Himalayan mountain region, low temperature • Trees with needle-like leaves sloping branches • Produce cones in stead of seeds – gymnosperms Broad leaved forests: • Large leaves of various shapes • Evergreen forests, deciduous forests, thorn forests, mangrove forests
  • 53.
  • 54. Evergreen forests: • In high rainfall areas of western Ghats, North-east India, Andaman and Nicobar islands • Monsoon – several months, green through out the year, little leaf shedding through year • Very little sun light reach to floor • Rich in orchids, ferns, animal life, abundant insects Deciduous forests: • In regions with moderate seasonal rainfall • Teak trees common • Leaf shedding in winter and hot summer months • March/April – regain leaves • Thick undergrowth as light reach easily at ground
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  • 56. Thorn forests: • In semi-arid regions in India • Trees sparsely distributed, surrounded by grassy area • Xerophytic plants, waxy leaves to conserve water, thorns to reduce transpiration and to protect from herbivores Mangrove forests: • In river deltas (coasts) • Plants grow in saline, fresh water and muddy areas
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  • 58. Uses of forests: • Timber, fire-wood • Climate and water regimes • Shelter for wild animals • Fruits, roots, herbs, medicinal plants, fodder, building material, fibre, cane, gum, honey etc. Threats to forest ecosystem: • Overutilization – waste land (Population growth, industrialization, urbanization, consumer goods like paper pulp, timber etc. ) • Forest cover of India – from 335 to 11% last century • Mining, dams Effects: • No survival of tribal people • Houses, farm implements • Insect population • No rain – agriculture, drinking water, extinction of species
  • 59. Conservation of forest ecosystem: • Use of alternate source of energy instead of wood • Grow more trees • Afforestation to be done • Set up of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries
  • 60. Desert Ecosystem • In India, Western India and Deccan plateau (Desert and semi-arid area). • Extremely dry, hot temperature • Cold desert, Ladakh, high plateaus of Himalayas • In desert areas, rainfall is very scanty and sporadic • Evaporation is more than rainfall, snow fall etc. • Latin term ‘desertus’ – waste or something that has been left. • Rainfall than 25cm a year • Covers approx. 1/3rd land of the world. • Atmosphere is very dry – so weak insulator – days are very hot and nights are very cool.
  • 61. Types of Deserts: On the basis of climatic conditions- • Tropical deserts: Thar (Rajasthan, Punjab, Sindh, Pakistan, the largest desert of India) Sahara (North Africa, the largest desert of the world), Namib (Africa), Rajasthan, Arabian desert (Saudi Arabia) • Temperate deserts: Mojave in California, Arizona (US) • Cold deserts: Gobi desert (China), Tibetian desert
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  • 63. • Animals and plants have typical adaptations for water conservation • Plants: Reduced, scaly leaves, succulent leaves, flattened stems with chlorophyll, deep roots, waxy thick cuticle over leaf • Animals: Insects, reptiles have thick outer covering, leave inside burrow. • Desert soil: Rich in nutrients, lacks water
  • 64. Components: Biotic components: Producers: Shrubs, bushes, some grasses, very few trees, microphyllus plants, spreading trees with deep roots, cacti, succulent plants, xerophytes, lichens etc.
  • 65. Consumers: Highly specialized insects, reptiles, rodents, birds, some mammalian vertebrates, tortoise, sand snakes, desert cats, desert fox etc. • Grazing animals like cattle, goat, sheeps, camels. Uromastix Kangaroo rats
  • 66. Great Indian Bustard Florican Patridge Sandgrouse
  • 67. Decomposers: Thermophilic bacteria, fungi in small numbers Threats: • Human population growth, developmental strategies • Extensive irrigation systems affecting natural characteristics • Rapid evaporation of water – salt on surface – saline and unproductive soil • Excessive tube wells – lowering water level
  • 68. Conservation: • Desert people traditionally protect their water resources • Bishnois in Rajasthan protect khejdi trees and black buck antelope for several generations • Special need of sustainable development
  • 69. (Disclaimer: The images and diagrams in this presentation have been downloaded from the Google source. I am grateful to all the concerned Authors, Publishers & the Google.) Thank You…!!!